Local dermatologist says protect your skin against melanoma

Tanning season is here! Whether you use sunscreen or wear protective clothing, preventing melanoma is the key.
Derm

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) — Tanning season is here! Whether you use sunscreen or wear protective clothing, preventing melanoma is the key. May is Melanoma Awareness Month.

“I like to tell patients that if something is there for four weeks, and you have not been there before and it’s not going away, then that’s an indication to get it evaluated,” said Dr. Leigh Sutton, Sutton Dermatology and Aesthetics. “Or if you have a mole that you’ve had your whole life or the last even five years but is changing is evolving.”

Dermatologist Dr. Leigh Sutton busts a common myth, the first sunburn is not okay!

“Myths I hear is, ‘Oh I just get burned at the beginning of the year and then I don’t need to put on sunscreen,'” said Sutton. “That tan that you develop afterburn is damage to your skin. So, I don’t believe that’s a good approach.”

Melanoma is when your pigmented cells, the ones that cause tanning become cancerous.

Sutton says there have been 32 reports of melanoma at their office in their first quarter alone.

The doctor says when caught early, melanoma has a survival rate of 98 to 99 percent.

“And so that’s why it’s so important for family members to point out to their loved ones that they might have seen something suspicious on them and to get it evaluated,” said Sutton.

When it comes to sunscreen, she says to choose what is best for you.

“If you are worried about chemical sunscreens and look for physical sunscreen and they’re widely available,” said Sutton.

“So sunscreens whose ingredients, only have zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. Those are the sunscreens that have, that are not chemical blockers and that would be a good choice for you.”

Dr. Sutton recommends avoiding harsh sun rays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., wearing at least a 4-inch brim hat, not a baseball cap, And Sutton says she is loving the new long-sleeve bathing suit options.

The CDC also breaks down what sunscreens are helpful or harmful, for that information, click here.

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