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When you think of skin care, do you think beyond the lotions and scrub products?

You should.

This month is Melanoma Awareness Month, and the perfect time to assess the health of your skin and what steps you can take to keep it healthy.

Skin cancer is by far the most prevalent type of cancer, and the rate is rising, according to the American Cancer Society.

Of skin cancers, melanoma is the most deadly. The ACS estimates that in 2019, about 96,480 new melanomas will be diagnosed (about 57,220 in men and 39,260 in women), and about 7,230 people are expected to die of melanoma (about 4,740 men and 2,490 women).

Melanoma is more than 20 times more common in whites than in blacks. The risk also gets greater with age.

ACS offers a few tips to lower your risk:

Seek shade. It's one of the best ways to limit UV exposure. You still can enjoy some fun in the sun, but, like many things, moderation is the key.

Use protection. Wear a shirt and cap, and put on sunscreen. Also, use sunglasses with UV protection.

Avoid tanning beds and sun lamps.

Protect your children. Children tend to spend more time outdoors and can burn more easily. Parents and other caregivers should protect children from excess sun exposure and teach them about the dangers of too much sun exposure.

Watch for abnormal moles. Check your skin regularly, and show anything abnormal to your doctor.

We urge you to get a skin cancer screening. 

Your skin is the largest organ in your body. This month especially, don't take it for granted.

News Tribune

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