- "A" is for asymmetry (one-half of the mole does not match the other half);
- "B" is for border irregularity (the edges are ragged, notched, or blurred);
- "C" is for color (the pigmentation is not uniform, with variable degrees of tan, brown, or black);
- "D" is for diameter greater than 6 mm (about the size of a pencil eraser).
- Children should be taught the correct use of sunscreen. Sunscreen should be applied to all exposed skin at least 20 minutes before going into the sun, even if it is cloudy outside, and needs to be reapplied every 2 to 3 hours or more frequently if swimming or exercising. Use at least 1 oz per application, roughly equivalent to the volume of a shot glass.
- Select a product that contains the highest allowable percentage of zinc oxide (25%) and titanium dioxide (25%). Both do not undergo significant chemical change or photodegradation with exposure to UV light. Avobenzone (3%) is the only truly effective UVA absorber available and offers the greatest photostability.
- Everyone needs to wear a hat and sunglasses with 99% to 100% UVA absorption.
- Exposure should be avoided between the hours of 10 AM and 4 PM when the sun is the strongest. Sun-protective clothing and shade are helpful in avoiding exposure.
- There is no such thing as a safe tan. This includes those gotten in tanning salons.
Recent News Stories
Related blog posts:
Sun Protection (March 19, 2009)
Melanoma Review (February 25, 2008)
Skin Cancer—Melanoma (December 8, 2008)
Melanoma Skin Screening Is Important (April 29, 2009)
Skin Cancer -- Basal Cell Carcinoma (December 3, 2008)
Skin Cancer – Squamous Cell Carcinoma (December 4, 2008)
Moles Should Not Be Treated by Lasers (July 27, 2009)
Tanning Beds = High Cancer Risk (August 3, 2009)
Incidence Estimate of Nonmelanoma Skin Cancer in the United States, 2006; Arch Dermatol. 2010;146(3):283-287; Howard W. Rogers; Martin A. Weinstock; Ashlynne R. Harris; Michael R. Hinckley; Steven R. Feldman; Alan B. Fleischer; Brett M. Coldiron
Increased Risk of Second Primary Cancers After a Diagnosis of Melanoma; Arch Dermatol. 2010;146(3):265-272.; Porcia T. Bradford; D. Michal Freedman; Alisa M. Goldstein; Margaret A. Tucker
Economic Burden of Melanoma in the Elderly Population: Population-Based Analysis of the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER)–Medicare Data; Arch Dermatol. 2010;146(3):249-256; Anne M. Seidler; Michelle L. Pennie; Emir Veledar; Steven D. Culler; Suephy C. Chen