Health Focus: Skin Cancer Prevention Health Focus: Skin Cancer Prevention


Skin: Head to Toe Safety

Almost everybody has skin marks such as freckles, age spots or moles. It's important to keep a close eye on them. A sudden change in a spot or mole is a possible warning sign of a serious skin condition.


When you notice an abnormality, see your doctor immediately. Many forms of skin cancer spread quickly to underlying tissue. This can be fatal if not treated early. If an early diagnosis is made, the condition is more likely to be benign or easily treatable.


Warning signs:

  • Skin tags (flap-like growths usually on the neck, armpits, upper trunk and body folds) that are red and irritated.
  • Moles that are larger than a pencil eraser, odd-shaped or have shades of red, blue, white or black.
  • Brown, black or yellow growths on the body that are slightly raised, gritty or waxy.


Call your doctor immediately if:

  • Moles or spots show characteristics listed under warning signs.
  • Spot or mole changes in size, shape or color.
  • A spot or mole bleeds, itches or is painful.
  • A skin tag is irritated or infected.



  • Use a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 30.
  • Apply at least one ounce of sunscreen. One ounce is enough to fill a shot glass, and is considered the amount needed to cover the exposed areas of the body.
  • Apply the sunscreen to dry skin 15 minutes BEFORE going outdoors. Reapply every two hours.
  • Use water-resistant sunscreen if you are swimming or sweating a lot. Reapply often.
  • Wear a broad-brimmed hat and breathable loose-fitting material that covers exposed skin.
  • Seek shade when appropriate, remember that the sun's rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. If your shadow is shorter than you are, seek shade.
  • Use extra caution near water, snow and sand, as they reflect the damaging rays of the sun, which can increase your chance of sunburn.
  • Check your body for unusual moles, spots or changes in either.
  • Eat a diet rich in vitamins C, E and beta carotene.


Taking these precautions will give your skin more protection from head to toe!

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FYH-74 (Rev. 6-2013)

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