Ask any dermatologist or plastic surgeon about skincare and it's likely that the first thing they will stress is the importance of sunscreen. And, while melanin strengthens our barrier against UVA and UVB rays and decreases our chance of sunburn, we are still at risk of developing the deadly skin cancer, melanoma.
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According to board certified dermatologist, Dr. Gary Monheit, "the female population has had the highest rise in melanoma rates," he followed that by stating, "more than 65 percent of melanoma's diagnosed in younger people are in women." Cancer doesn't discriminate. While it is important to stay out of the sun during the peak hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., it is equally as important to take the precautionary measures to ensure that your skin is healthy and properly shielded from UVA/UVB damage. G.R.A.S.S. is a simple acronym that both Dr. Charles Boyd and Dr. Monheit encourage all of their patients to follow to achieve and maintain their best skin.
Your skin is your body's largest organ and first shield of defense. It is important to remember that it is a living thing and to take the necessary measure to protect it. Developing a routine at an early age and implementing G.R.A.S.S into your skincare can drastically affect the appearance of skin over time. Going in for an annual skin check, remaining conscious of your sun exposure and applying sunscreen year-round (yes, even in the winter) can significantly decrease your chance of developing melanoma.
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Next time you conduct at an-home breast exam, check your skin, too. If you notice any moles or discoloration, or perhaps a mole that seems to have changed in size, you may want to consult with your doctor, as it could be a sign of something more serious.
Do you engage in annual skin checks? When was the last time you spoke to a doctor about your skin?