Online Originals: Health experts share how to protect skin during National Skin Cancer month

Online Originals

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT)- The month of May is National Skin Cancer Month.

Health experts want to remind people about the lasting effects of too much exposure to the sun.

Your skin can be damaged after just 15 minutes in the sun. Vidant health dermatologists say that damage has an impact long after the burn fades away.

“Skin cancer is one of those things where there are a lot of preventative measures that we can take. The more we bring preventative measures to the community, the better off our community will be,” said Nikki Hyatt, outreach coordinator.

The damage is caused by ultraviolet-a and -b rays, but using sunscreen and staying in shade can literally save your skin.

“Some of the rays can burn you very quickly. We recommend even if you are going to be outside just for 20-30 minutes to an hour depending on how harsh the UV Rays are that day. We just recommend wearing sunscreen that day,” Hyatt said.

Some may only worry about the sun on the beach or at the pool. But it’s a danger for anyone who works or plays outside.

“We don’t think about the people that are working outside every day. The farmers who are out, even golfers who are out, landscapers,” said Hyatt.

Dermatologists say the sun isn’t the only worry — so is indoor tanning.

“There is proof in research that tanning beds do increase the risk for skin cancer and melanoma,” Hyatt added.

Skin cancer treatments depend on the damage, and how early it’s caught.

“A lot of the skin cancers that are diagnosed can be removed. There is a ton of different ways that they can be removed.  Some of the skin has cutoffs,” said Hyatt. 

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