Skin cancer is a condition most adults in our country have heard of; though some may be surprised that one in five individuals will develop some type of skin cancer in their lifetime. Each year, more than nine thousand people die from melanoma, with only three thousand deaths occurring from other types of cancer. What is heartbreaking about the statistics on melanoma is that this condition is largely preventable. Upwards of 90 percent of skin cancers are linked to UV exposure, which can be avoided. Additionally, the early recognition of suspicious growths through self-examination can lead to successful treatment in our Orlando dermatology office.

Protecting yourself from skin cancer
Dr. Grayman and the experienced team at Pure Skin Dermatology are dedicated to making a difference in the lives of our patients. We want to help you stay healthy, and provide details on how to protect yourself from skin cancer in three simple ways:

  • Be sun-savvy. Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen every day, rain or shine. UV rays pass through clouds and, although they may not cause sunburn, they are damaging your skin. Protection also comes from avoiding tanning beds, as well as sun exposure during the peak midday hours.
  • Examine skin once a month or more. The better you know your skin, the more quickly you will recognize any changes that occur in moles, as well as new growths.
  • Skin cancer screenings with your board certified dermatologist should take place annually. A study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology reported a fifty percent reduction in melanoma-related deaths thanks to professional cancer screenings.

Performing self-examination
There are certain characteristics of moles that warrant further investigation. We encourage patients to look for:

  • Moles or other lesions larger than ¼ inch in diameter, a good measure is a pencil eraser
  • Irregularity in the shape or edges of a mole, the edges should be well defined, not jagged
  • Changes in the size, texture, color, or shape of an existing mole
  • Any new mole that develops in adulthood should be closely monitored
  • Sores that do not seem to heal
  • Any mole or lesion that persistently itches, hurts, bleeds, or oozes

If any of these characteristics become noticeable in a self-examination, professional evaluation should be sought right away. Skin cancer can be frightening, but early treatment is very successful. At Pure Skin Dermatology, Dr. Grayman uses the state-of-the-art technique for precise removal of skin cancers. Contact our office to schedule your yearly cancer screening.