UTAH (ABC4) – As May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month, there is no better time to bring to light the importance of skin cancer prevention. 

In light of the spring season and the sunny surge of weather, representatives of Cleveland Clinic have taken time to stress the importance of skin cancer checks. 

“It’s so important, especially for people who love being outdoors and who are fair skinned. I think it’s interesting that often times the people who aren’t very fair skinned and who don’t burn, are the ones who tend not to go and get checked because they say ‘Oh yeah, I get a tan very easily’,” said Philip Bernard, MD, who specializes in dermatology for the Cleveland Clinic Family Medicine department.

Dr. Bernard went on to note how skin cancer does not discriminate against age, anyone can be affected. In fact, skin cancer diagnoses mostly depend on an individual’s family background and history of sun exposure. 

In order to prevent skin cancer, Dr. Bernard recommends staying out of the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. as well as wearing sun protective clothing and applying SPF 15 or higher frequently. Additionally, Dr. Bernard acknowledged the necessity of routine skin checks at home, advising us to use a full body mirror to examine the entirety of our body. 

Finally, Cleveland Clinic notes Dr. Brenards advice to avoid tanning beds at all costs. 

“Tanning bed use will increase your chance of getting melanoma. So if you are young and spend a lot of time in the tanning bed, I think you need to think again about what is the best way to care for your skin long term and prevent that from happening,” he said.

If you notice an unusual spot or mole on your skin, do not hesitate to consult with a dermatologist.