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How to Prevent Skin Cancer

Learn how to prevent skin cancer from dermatologist Elissa Lunder in this Howcast skin care video.


Hi, I'm Dr. Elissa Lunder. I've been practicing dermatology at Dermatology Partners in Wellesley, Massachusetts for the past 10 years. I believe that skin care doesn't have to be complicated. With a few simple steps you can have beautiful skin. You can visit Dermatology Partners on the web at So today we're gonna talk about skin care. Skin care is becoming an epidemic around the world, so you really want to do whatever you can to protect your skin against skin cancer. The most important thing you can do is use sun protection. So when you're going outside, if you're going to the beach you want to make sure you're using a good broad spectrum sunscreen. You want one that's protecting your skin against the UVA rays, as well as UVB rays. One of my favorite sunscreens are the physical blockers, the ones that contain zinc-oxide and titanium dioxide. Sun avoidance is great; avoid going outside during the peak times when the sun is brightest. You also want to make sure you're using sun protective clothing. So there are a few clothing lines that make clothing that have SPF in them. And they make it so much easier cause you don't have to deal with all the um messy sunscreen. You also want to seek shade; so go outside as much as you want. You know, enjoy the pool, enjoy the beach, but just do it with protection. A beach umbrella, a big broad rimmed hat will really help you a lot. There are titanium dioxide umbrellas on the market, which are just fantastic. Not only will they give you shade, they also keep you ten degrees cooler in the sun. Sunburns really increase your risk of skin cancer. Most people get their sunburn on the bridge of their nose, on their cheeks, and that's why the incidents of skin cancer in those areas are much higher than other parts of the body. Then you also want to make sure you're checking your skin on a monthly basis and you want to make sure you're looking for anything that's changing, growing, bleeding. Anything that wasn't there before; if you notice any new red bumps, any pink scaly patches, and any dark moles. In addition to your monthly skin exams, you really want to see your dermatologist or your primary care doctor for a yearly skin check. Because when skin cancers are caught early, they can really save your life.

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