New Year Resolutions or not, now is the perfect time to mark your calendar and schedule a skin cancer exam with Florida Dermatology and Skin Cancer Centers. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends an annual skin exam for everyone, regardless of age or skin color. While we hope we don’t find signs of skin cancer, regular exams can increase the chances that if we do, it will be diagnosed at an early, more easily-treatable stage. Plus, we can help with other common skin conditions you may be dealing with, such as rosacea or unsightly warts.
Dr. K. Wade Foster and his team of experts at Florida Dermatology and Skin Cancer Centers are well-known for their skin cancer screening program and advanced range of treatment options, including Mohs surgery. When required, Mohs surgery is highly effective, with minimal scarring or discomfort.
Some of the best reasons to schedule a skin check:
- Sun exposure and UV rays – If you live in Florida, even part of the year, you’ve been exposed. Don’t just think about beach time and sunburn; think about golfing, tennis, gardening, fishing, or long walks around the neighborhood. Both UVA and UVB rays damage skin cells, and wearing sunscreen and protective clothing help limit your amount of exposure. However, many of us have sun damage from childhood sunburns. Regular skin cancer checks can monitor problem areas and identify cancers, or pre-cancers, at the earliest stages.
- Age – Age is another skin cancer risk, primarily because older individuals have had more years of sun exposure. Plus, many of us weren’t aware of the need for sunscreen and protective clothing during our childhood and teen years, resulting in more damage. However, even with greater knowledge of the risk factors, skin cancer prevalence is growing in younger individuals. The popularity of outdoor activities, especially in Florida, contribute to the risks, as does the continued use of tanning booths. Melanoma has been reported to be found 8 times more frequently in women under age 40 than it was 40 years ago! We encourage skin exams for all ages.
- Skin Color – It’s no secret that fair-skinned individuals face the highest risk for skin cancer, but it’s a myth that darker-skinned people are immune from skin cancer. While those with darker complexions have more UV ray protection, because they naturally produce more of the pigment melanin, they are also more likely to be diagnosed with skin cancer at a later more-complex stage. Melanin reduces sun damage, but it does not prevent skin cancer. Everyone, of any color, should receive routine skin cancer checks to maintain healthy skin.
- Personal and Family History – A previous skin cancer diagnosis puts you at a high risk for repeat skin cancers. A family history of skin cancer also increases your risk. Individuals who have a lot of moles on their skin have a higher incidence of skin cancer, as well. Many moles appear on your back, scalp, or other hard-to-see places, so changes in pigment, shape, or size could easily go unnoticed. Our team will check you from head to toe, for a comprehensive exam.
- Gender – Like many medical issues, skin cancer can be related to gender, but maybe not the way you expect. Men are more likely than women to be found with skin cancer, possibly because of the amount of time they spend in the sun. In addition, women often wear sun protective moisturizers or foundations (with SPF), or otherwise take more precautions with their skin than men do.
Your skin is your body’s largest organ, and you owe it to yourself and your family to treat it kindly. And that means making that resolution to schedule your skin exam at Florida Dermatology and Skin Cancer Centers today. We’ll help you keep your skin healthy, as well as looking and feeling its best all year round.
Call 863-293-2147 or visit www.fldscc.com for more information about Florida Dermatology and Skin Cancer Centers. Complete office listings are available on the website.