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Read comments and insights from our medical experts on diseases, treatments, prevention and more.

Bruce Campbell, MD, FACS, Medical College of Wisconsin otolaryngologist, writes about quality of life issues for cancer patients.

Bruce Campbell
Medical College of Wisconsin Otolaryngologist


Lisa Hass-Peters, BA, RN, provides tips and insights from her "home" in the Emergency Department to keep you from visiting her.

Lisa Hass-Peters
Emergency Preparedness Coordinator, Injury Prevention Educator, EMS Liaison


Physical therapist Griffin Ewald, MPT, extends his very hands-on occupation to the blogosphere. He shares his thoughts on rehabilitation, exercise and wellness.

Griffin Ewald
Physical Therapist


Vicki Conte is the Community Outreach Coordinator in the Froedtert & The Medical College of Wisconsin Neurosciences Center. She writes about news and events happening within the center and shares inspiring patient stories.

Vicki Conte
Program Manager, Community and Department Education, Neurosciences Center



Aug 22 2013
Pale Is the New Tanned
0

When I was in high school, it was not uncommon for my friends to come on over to our house during the summer. We had a pool. We would put on our swim suits, get out the reflective pads, and slather baby oil all over. We did not use SPF anything. It was a summer cycle. Burn to a crisp, peel, and then start all over. We did not think about skin damage or skin cancer. And that was a very risky choice.

So what are your risks for skin cancer?

  • Sunlight exposure: It is the number one risk factor for skin cancer.
  • Severe, blistering sunburns: Anyone who has had severe sunburn, a burn that causes blistering, has higher risk.
  • Lifetime sun exposure: The total amount of sun exposure over a lifetime increases your risk for skin cancer.
  • Tanning: Tanning without the sunburn is still sun exposure, and increases risk.

How do I check my skin?

  • Location: Know where your moles, scars and birthmarks are located. Note how they look and feel.
  • Check for the new: Check for new moles that do not look like your other ones. Look for changes in color, size or feel. Watch for a sore that does not heal.
  • Head to toe: The best time to check your skin is after a shower in a well-lit room. Check front to back and side to side — between your toes and fingers, in your hair and the soles of your feet. Every inch!

How do you protect yourself?

  • Seek shade: Stay out of the sun during the midday when the UV rays are the strongest.
  • Wear clothing: Cover up and keep the sun off of your skin.
  • Hats: Wear a hat with a brim that keeps the sun off of your face, ears and neck.
  • Sunscreen: Wear SPF 15 (at the very minimum) or above. Reapply after swimming or sweating. Throw out expired sunscreen.

I know that it's great to feel the sun on your skin, but that warm sensation is short lived, while damaged skin lasts a lifetime. If you want more information regarding skin cancer, please visit the Skin Cancer Center.


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Authors

  • Lisa Hass-Peters
    Emergency Preparedness Coordinator, Injury Prevention Educator, EMS Liaison
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