The prolonged sunshine fixes our mood and makes us expose ourselves for a long time to the sunrays! At the same time, however, it can cause us problems because of the lack of self-protection measures from the hazardous properties of solar radiation.
Sunburn is a risk factor for our fragile skin. According to World Health Organization data, each year 2-3 million cases of non-melanoma skin cancers and 132.000 melanoma cases are recorded worldwide.
The most characteristic warning sign of melanoma is a new spot on the skin or another spot that changes in size, shape or color. Particular attention is needed in our skin moles. A regular mole is usually an evenly colored brown mark or spot on the skin. It can be flat or slightly swollen, round in shape or oval. Moles are generally less than 6 mm in width, some may be there from birth time, but most of them show up in childhood or adulthood and almost all of them are harmless.
It is important to be able to recognize those changes in a mole – as in size, shape, or color – which may indicate that something is wrong. The main manual for the early detection of melanoma resulting from the mutation of a mole has 5 rules:
- Asymmetry: Mole’s one half does not fit with the other half.
- Mole’s periphery: The edges are irregular, ragged, notched, or “blurred” in appearance.
- Color: The color is not the same throughout the mole’s surface and may include shades of brown or black, or sometimes have patches of pink, red, white or blue.
- Diameter: The spot is larger than 6 mm in diameter. However, some melanomas can sometimes be smaller than that when they first appear.
- Mutation: The mole changes in size, shape or color.
Other warning signs of a “suspicious” mole are:
- A sore that does not heal.
- Change of mole’s surface, peeling, fluid secretion, bleeding, or the development of a nodule.
- Change in sensation, itchiness, soreness or pain.
A study conducted in Queensland of Australia in more than 3.500 people showed that 50% of melanoma cases were originally identified by patients themselves. Early detection or even better preventive examination by a dermatologist, are in any case extremely important for the successful treatment of any problem.
For the end, a reminder of some basic self-protection rules from the harmful rays of our sun:
- Avoid or at least limit our sun exposure at peak hours between 10 am and 4 pm
- Wear clothes that cover most of our skin and for the rest of the body (face, hands) we get protected by using sunscreen, applying to the user’s instructions which we often neglect to read.
- Wear hat with a large brim to protect our face.
- Wear quality sunglasses.
- Prefer shady places, especially the hours that the sun literally burns! Remember the shadow rule: “Watch your shadow – Short shadow, seek shade!”
Just by following these simple tips, we significantly reduce the risks for our health.
Enjoy summer with the appropriate protection …it’s good for you!