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Melanoma/Skin Cancer Health Center

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Skin Cancer, Melanoma - Topic Overview

The best way to prevent all kinds of skin cancer, including melanoma, is to protect yourself whenever you are out in the sun.

  • Try to stay out of the sun during the middle of the day (from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.).
  • Wear sun-protective clothes when you are outside, such as a hat that shades your face, a long-sleeved shirt, and long pants.
  • Use sunscreen every day. Your sunscreen should have an SPF of least 15. Look for a sunscreen that protects against both types of UV radiation in the sun's rays—UVA and UVB. When you are outdoors for long periods of time, reapply sunscreen every 2 hours.
  • Use a higher SPF when you are at higher elevations.
  • Avoid sunbathing and tanning salons.

Check your skin every month for odd marks, moles, or sores that will not heal. Check all of your skin, but pay extra attention to areas that get a lot of sun, such as your hands, arms, and back. Ask your doctor to check your skin during regular physical exams or at least once a year.

Learning about melanoma:

Being diagnosed:

Getting treatment:

Ongoing concerns:

Living with melanoma:

Supportive care:

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: October 12, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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