Risks and Prevention of Skin Cancer

With the sun just starting to shine, it’s no surprise that May is National Skin Cancer

Awareness Month. As more people step outside, exposure to harmful UV rays is on

the rise. If you haven’t already, now may be a good time to schedule your yearly skin

exam. In the meantime, do a self-check at home and be aware of these risks of skin

cancer. Muskegon Surgical Associates offers skin exams with their board certified plastic surgeons.

Self-Check Skin Exam

Regardless of skin color, everyone should perform a skin exam at least once a year.

Using a full length or handheld mirror, check your skin from head to toe including

toes, buttock and scalp. You will be looking for suspicious spots or moles that show

signs of skin cancer, which are broken down in our melanoma blog .

Family History

Family members with a history of skin cancer can increase your risk. In the same

vein, having many moles, freckles or beauty marks can also play a part. People with

very fair skin, particularly those with red or blonde hair, or blue or green eyes and

burn easily also have an increased risk of developing skin cancer.

Weakened Immune System

Those with a compromised immune system, such as diabetes or lupus are more

likely to develop skin cancer. Certain medical treatments, like chemotherapy, can

also increase the risk. If you have a compromised immune system ask your provider

or dermatologist about protecting and caring for your skin.

Occupational Hazards

Those who tend to spend more time exposed to the sun, either for work or other

reasons, naturally have an increased risk. When outdoors for an extended period of

time protective gear such as hats and sunglasses are recommended to block UV

rays. Weather permitting, clothing that covers your arms and legs is a great first

defense against the sun. As always, daily sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 30 on

the face and neck is recommended to minimize sun damage over time. Finally,

self-tanning both outdoors and in tanning beds can lead to an increased risk of skin



Yearly skin checks are the best way to detect skin cancer early. To schedule a skin check, contact our plastic surgery office at 231-739-1933.

MSA can also help treat and remove skin cancer. To learn more, contact MSA or

visit Pure Medical Spa for more skincare options.



MSA Website



Beware These Signs of Melanoma