As the weather begins to get warmer, we will begin to spend more time outside and in the sun. With that happening more regularly, it’s even more important to protect yourself from the harmful UV Rays of the sun.

May is Skin Cancer Awareness month and typically Orange Regional hosts in-person skin cancer screenings, however, due to the current pandemic, our screenings have been canceled. We are sorry that we cannot provide this service right now but your health and safety, as well as the health and safety of our physician volunteers are our top priority.

Even through the screening has been canceled, it doesn’t mean you there aren’t things you can do from home to not only protect yourself, but also check yourself.

Below is a list of ways you can protect yourself from harmful sun rays that can lead to skin cancer:

  • Seek shade when it is available.
  • Wear protective clothing, such as a lightweight long-sleeved shirt, pants, a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses, when possible.
  • Apply a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
  • Be sure to reapply sunscreen every two hours, or after sweating a lot or swimming.
  • Sun reflections that bounce off water, snow and sand, are dangerous and can increase your chance of sunburn.
  • Avoid tanning beds.

You should also take some time to perform a self-skin exam by following these steps:

  1. Examine your body front and back in a full length mirror, then look at your right and left sides with your arms raised.
  2. Bend elbows and look carefully at your forearms, underarms, and palms.
  3. Look at the backs of your legs and feet, the spaces between your toes, and the soles of your feet.
  4. Examine the back of your neck and scalp with a hand mirror. Part hair for a closer look.
  5. Finally, using a hand mirror, check your back and buttocks.

If you find any sort of discoloration that you hadn’t noticed before, a change of shape to an existing freckle or mole or anything itching or bleeding, be sure to contact your primary care physician or dermatologist as soon as you can. If you do not have a primary care physician, please call our Medical Group to set up an appointment with any of our primary care physicians at 845-333-7575.