May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month! Dr. Husain discusses Skin Cancer Prevention and Detection

May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month!   Dr. Husain discusses Skin Cancer Prevention and Detection

Dr. Zain Husain Dermatologist in Marlboro, NJ

Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States.  There are over 5.4 million cases of nonmelanoma skin cancer diagnosed each year.  It is very important to detect and treat skin cancer early for the best possible outcome.  Getting a comprehensive annual skin examination by your board certified dermatologist is the best way to detect skin cancer early.  Your dermatologist can also educate you on how to perform a self-skin examination.  These self-skin exams are fairly quick and can be very useful for alerting you to potential skin cancers.  It is recommended to perform these exams once a month either by yourself or a partner.

There are three primary types of skin cancer including basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma.  UV radiation from sun exposure is the primary risk factor, but genetics can play a role.  Each type of skin cancer  above is  derived from a different cell type and often have different appearances.  Changes in an existing skin lesion or development of a new skin growth can indicate concern for skin cancer. Warning signs to look for include a growth that is painful, does not heal, bleeds or continues to grow.  For pigmented lesions, be aware of the ABCDE’s of melanoma.  A stands for asymmetry.  B stands for border irregularity.  C stands for color changes or multiple colors within the same mole.  D stands for diameter of greater than 6 mm or the size of a pencil eraser.  Lastly, E stands for evolution or any rapid change in appearance or symptoms of a mole.  If you notice any of these changes, it is important to seek the care of a board certified dermatologist for evaluation and potential treatment.

There are certain lifestyle changes you can make to decrease your risk of developing skin cancer.  Using a broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen SPF 30 or higher consistently will help reduce your risk of burning with sun exposure.  Proper use of sunscreen includes applying 1 oz of sunscreen to your body 30 minutes before going outside and reapplying sunscreen every 2 hours.  If engaging in outdoor sports or swimming, be sure to use a water-resistant sunscreen. Similarly, wearing sun-protective clothing, wide-brimmed hats, and sun glasses is beneficial.  Seeking shade between the hours of 10 am- 4 pm allows you to avoid the times of peak UV light exposure.  Lastly, avoid tanning bed and use a topical self-tanner if necessary.

If you or a loved one is concerned about skin cancer, don’t delay!  Make an appointment with skin cancer specialist Dr. Zain Husain at New Jersey Dermatology and Aesthetics Center for a comprehensive skin exam.  Visit us at or call us at 732-702-1212

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