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Doctors Urge Routine Skin Screenings
Date:5/6/2012

SUNDAY, May 6 (HealthDay News) -- Adults and children should be screened routinely for changes in the appearance of their skin, experts advise.

Mount Sinai Medical Center researchers point out that regular visits to the dermatologist are just as important as trips to the dentist because they can provide clues as to what's going on outside as well as inside the body.

One in five Americans will develop some form of skin cancer during their lifetime, the Mount Sinai doctors cautioned. Although skin cancer is one of the most common types of cancer, it's also one of the most preventable, they noted in a center news release.

In honor of Skin Cancer Awareness Month and Melanoma Day on Monday, May 7, the experts offered the following advice on skin cancer prevention:

  • Wear sunblock. Almost half of all UV exposure occurs between the ages of 19 and 40 years. Sunblock should be applied to the body, around the eyes, lips, ears and feet everyday year-round. Dermatologists can recommend sunscreen for infants and sensitive areas, such as the eyelids or face.
  • Do not sunbathe. It may take between 10 and 20 years for the damage to show up, but the sun's rays dissolve the collagen and elastin in your skin.
  • Perform monthly self-checks. Monitor your brown spots, such as moles and freckles. If you have many of these spots, consult your dermatologist about total body photography. This preventative measure can help closely track the appearance of your spots to determine if they've changed over time.
  • Follow the ABCDEs. Consult a dermatologist if a mole has any of the following: Asymmetry (one side is different from the other); Border irregularity; Color variation (one area is a different shade or color than another); Diameter equal to or larger than a pencil eraser; Elevation (it is raised or has an uneven surface)

Sunscreens will have new U.S. Food and Drug Admi
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