Monday, April 30, 2012

May is Melanoma Awareness Month

May is melanoma awareness month!  I think it is the perfect month for that too---right before summer when people are getting outside more and having fun in the sun.

Here are some simple things you can do to learn more about melanoma, prevent melanoma, and become an advocate:

1.  Get to know your skin.  Learn how to perform self-skin checks ONCE a month.  A good way to remember to do this on the 1st of the month!  To do this, follow the simple steps here.

2.  Even better, go visit a dermatologist if you haven't been in over a year.  Be proactive!  Prevention starts here.  Be educated on melanoma awareness, and take your health in your own hands!  A visit to a dermatologist could literally save your life!

3.  Invest in a top rated sunscreen found here and stock up for the summer.  If you like more "natural" based sunscreens, this one is top-rated by EWG.  Remember, you should apply the amount equal to a shot glass every 2 hours while in the sun.  If you are in the water, you should reapply every 90 minutes!  Take extra caution near the snow, sun, and sand as the UV rays are more damaging!

4.  Make sure you and your family are equipped with hats, sunglasses, and UV protective clothing.  I like these shirts found here.

5.  Do your best to avoid long sun exposure between the hours of 10am-4pm.  Seek shade whenever possible!

6.  Say No to Tanning.  If you haven't heard already, indoor tanning devices are about the worst thing you could do for your skin.  You triple your risk for getting melanoma if you have used tanning beds in your life.  If you feel the need to have a "tan", go get a spray tan or invest in a good self-tanning lotion found here (my personal faves are Neutrogena and St. Tropez).

7.  Make sure your children and loved ones are protected as well!  By spreading awareness for this disease by educating others, you are being an advocate!

8.  Educate yourself on the ABCDE's of melanoma found here.

9.  Remember that a tan is also a risk factor of melanoma.  Sun burns AND tans are a sign of skin damage.  When your skin cells are damaged, they can mutate or change, thus increasing your risk for skin cancer!

10.  Lastly, share this message and video (my all-time favorite melanoma video) with the people you love!!  Prevention starts with education!!

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