Save your own skin!11 June 2013
Does this concern you? It does if you have:
· numerous moles on your body
· a (family) history of melanoma
· high sun exposure as a child (esp if burned to blisters)
· high sun exposure over your lifetime
· fair skin that burns easily and doesn't tan
· red hair, or fair hair & blue/ green eyes
· a weakened immune system
· Do you sometimes not slip, slop, slap, seek and slide?
If your answer is yes, you need regular skin checks, eg. 2 yearly.
At a skin check, your doctor will establish your skin history, your family history, past exposure, your skin type and of course your current practice of sun protection.
Then you will be examined from top to toe – melanomas do sometimes grow on the bottom of your feet.
Melanoma skin cancer is more likely if you have been sunburnt, and even more so with sunburn in childhood. Melanoma can get quite nasty; it can spread before it becomes obvious on the surface.
Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer, so BCC & SCC are more related to high sun exposure over your lifetime. BCCs hardly ever spread, but can cause local problems, especially if on the face. SCCs can spread, and both can recur if not enough margin has been taken.
So please do Slip on a long sleeve shirt, Slop on Sunscreen*, Slap on a hat, Seek shade and Slide on a cool pair of sunnies.
*FARMERS out there who don’t put sunscreen on, because when dusty and sweaty it runs into your eyes: steal your wife’s facial moisturizer if it has SPF>15 – it protects your skin much better than nothing, and as a bonus will help the skin get rid of the cancer cells!