Simple tips for protecting yourself from harmful rays for Skin Cancer Awareness Month

May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT)–Spring and summer are both full of outdoor activities, and that comes with a lot of sun exposure. Luckily, May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month, so we’ve got some great tips to keep you safe when you head outside.

First, always use sunblock, and make sure it’s SPF 15 or higher. Also, don’t just use sunscreen when you head outside.

A wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and a light t-shirt can all help protect against sunburn. When it’s possible, stay in the shade, especially during late morning through mid-afternoon.

If you’re going swimming, sweating a lot, or drying yourself off, be sure to re-apply sunscreen every two hours.

Lastly, remember all this even when it’s a cool day. It’s not the temperature that causes the damage, it’s the UV rays.

If you’re concerned about something on your skin, you should contact your doctor. There are a few key warning signs when it comes to skin cancer.

“They often start as simple as what looks like a pimple but it never heals. So a little shiny pink bump on your skin. If it bleeds, it hurts, it itches, and it just never goes away that’s something that we certainly want to look at. And these days we can even look at it via Skype visits to keep you healthy,” said April Farrell, a dermatologist for Gundersen Health System.

Farrell said what you’re looking for is the ABC’s. That includes moles that are Asymmetrical, have Border or Color irregularities, a certain Diameter or something that’s Different and Evolving.

More information on skin cancer can be found here.