By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
May 18, 2017
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Melanoma is on the rise. According to the CDC, the incidence of this form of skin cancer has more than doubled over the last 3 decades. Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer. It is the leading cause of cancer death in women ages 25-30 and the second leading cause of cancer death in women ages 15-29. Despite these sobering statistics, however, melanoma is highly treatable in its early stages. That’s why we at Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care want to share some important information on how to protect yourself and your family during Melanoma Awareness Month.

Be Proactive in Protecting Your Skin

It’s estimated that 90% of melanomas are caused by exposure to UV light and sunlight. To help prevent melanomas:

  • Do not use tanning beds. They increase your risk of melanoma by 75%!
  • Wear sunscreen daily. Choose one with an SPF of 30 or higher and protects against UVA and UVB rays. Reapply often, especially after swimming or when you are near reflective surfaces such as snow, water or sand. Don’t forget to apply to the bottoms of feet as well as the tops when you are spending the day at the beach, lake or pool.
  • Be vigilant about reapplying children’s sunscreen. Even one bad sunburn during childhood can significantly increase your risk for melanoma later in life.
  • Avoid outside activities during the midday hours when the sun is at its hottest. Encourage your children’s coaches not to schedule practice in the middle of the day.

It’s essential that you get in the habit of checking the skin on your feet regularly. Oftentimes melanomas on the feet are not diagnosed until late stage just because patients are not usually looking at the skin on their feet. If you notice any moles, growths or freckles that appear to be getting thicker or larger, or that have the following characteristics: irregular borders, asymmetric shape, multi-colored or a diameter bigger than a pencil eraser bring them to the attention of our podiatrists, Dr. Varun Gujral or Dr. Nrupa Shah. Don’t delay. Contact our Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction office for an appointment by calling: 732-662-3050.