Skin cancer risk factors
You are at higher risk for developing skin cancer if you live in a sunny environment year-round, have experienced many bad sunburns, are fair-skinned, have an abundance of moles or freckles, or if you have a family history of skin cancer. If you fall into one of these categories, you should regularly monitor your skin for any changes. When you are doing a self-exam, look for the following: new growths or sores that wonot heal; small lumps that are smooth, shiny and waxy, or red/reddish brown; and flat red spots that are rough or scaly. Any new growths or skin changes that are black or dark brown should be looked upon with suspicion. Cancerous skin lesions appear primarily on sun-exposed body parts, but they can develop on areas that are not normally subjected to sunlight. If you notice anything unusual, get checked by your doctor. Incorporating daily sunscreen use and wearing protective clothing will decrease your risks, especially if you start practicing your sun smarts early. Look for sunscreens that contain aloe, vitamin E and/or green tea to help nourish the skin and replenish lost moisture from sun exposure.