A Sun Cities dermatologly parctice will offer free skin cancer screenings to highlight Melanoma Awareness Month.
The screenings will be available from Sun City Dermatology, 13843 W. Meeker Blvd., Suite 101, Sun City West 9-11 a.m. Thursday, May 20.. Snacks and giveaways will be available during the screening event. Call 623-377-7546.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology and Skin Cancer Foundation, one in three Arizonans will be afflicted with skin cancer in their lifetime.
“Sun damage and skin cancer do not discriminate,” said Sarah Neumann, Sun City Dermatology, founder. “The sun can do major damage in as little as 20 minutes. No matter if it’s a quick trip to the store, a day at the pool or years of constant sun exposure; the best thing to do is to be smart and be aware.”
While sunscreen can help, it must be used to be effective, according to Ms. Neumann.
“The use of sunscreen is proven to reduce the risk of getting skin cancer, but recent studies show that 56% of individuals rarely use sunscreen, 35% never wear sunscreen and only 19% reported wearing sunscreen daily,” she said. “We’re trying get more people to take this seriously and protect their skin.”
Ms. Neumann offered a few sun tips for Arizonans to follow.
Avoid the sun during the hottest times of the day — 10 a.m.-2 p.m.. Abide by the shadow rule.
“If your shadow is shorter than you, seek shade,” Ms. Neumann said. “Always generously lather up with a sunscreen with a minimum of SPF 30 and invest in sun protective clothing that has SPF built-in.”
Check product packaging and always look for sunscreens containing titanium or zinc oxide as the active ingredient rather than chemical sunscreens.
Look for moles with changes in color, size, shape and texture. Sometimes the most serious problem areas aren’t as obvious as dark colored moles. Be on the lookout for small patches that resemble scratches or flesh-colored or firm bumps.
“Bottom line, if it’s new or worries you, see a professional,” Ms. Neumann said.
If residents see something out of the ordinary, they should schedule an appointment for a screening immediately.
“Early cancer detection saves lives and skin care professionals can recommend the best preventive measures for your skin type,” she explained.
Ms. Neumann, MMS-PA-C, has been a practicing dermatology PA for more than 20 years.