If our dermatologists could summarize the perfect word for the question, “What is an optimal…
Educating yourself on skin cancer causes, risks, and prevention is extremely important, and understanding common misconceptions, or myths, is a great place to start. The first thing any of us do as soon as there’s a red flag regarding our health is turn to google. Google is definitely a helpful tool, there’s no question, but when it comes to our health, self-diagnosing through the internet is not the answer.
This article will break down some common myths regarding skin cancer, moles, and sunspots. We will also discuss when it’s best to seek professional help.
Common myths about skin cancer
- You can only get skin cancer if you spend a lot of time in the sun. This has been proven to be entirely false. Dermatologists have found that even those who spend small amounts of time in the sun are still at risk for developing skin cancer. Typically, everyone comes in contact with UV rays on nearly a daily basis. Even if you spend small increments in the sunlight, you still risk being affected by harmful UV rays, especially if you have fair skin.
- Tanning beds are safer than the sun’s rays. Tanning beds pose a gigantic threat to the overall health of our skin and they should be avoided at all costs. It was once believed that tanning beds were a safer option compared to the sun’s natural UV rays, but this has been proven to be a myth. Tanning beds actually increase your risk of developing skin cancer by 75%.
- People who never sunburn can’t get skin cancer. This is also a myth. People who never sunburn may have less chance than someone who is fair-skinned and burns very easily, but that does not mean there’s no chance they can develop skin cancer. It’s recommended that people with all skin shades should be routinely applying sunscreen year-round.
Myths about moles and sunspots
- Doctors can remove all moles and sunspots before they become cancer. Unfortunately, not all sunspots and moles are caught in time before they become cancerous. This is why it’s so important to have mysterious spots checked by a dermatologist as soon as they are noticed.
- If your sunspot or mole isn’t bothering you, you don’t have to get it checked. This is also a myth. If you discover a new mole or sun spot during your monthly skin cancer self-exam, you should have it checked out right away, regardless if it’s causing you pain or not.
When to see a doctor
When it comes to our health, we should always be cautious of what our body is telling us. As soon as a suspicious sunspot or mole appears, a doctor’s appointment with a dermatologist should be scheduled. Often, it’s nothing serious, but it’s better to be on high guard, rather than not. Early detection of skin cancer can be what saves someone’s life.
If you have a suspicious mole or sunspot that hasn’t always been there, schedule an appointment with one of our dermatologists so we can take a closer look!
Cumberland Skin Surgery and Dermatology provides effective, compassionate general dermatology, skin cancer surgery and cosmetic dermatology solutions for our patients throughout the Southeast. With offices in Hermitage, Lebanon, Brentwood and Hendersonville, Tennessee, we’re your destination for high-caliber skincare. Visit our website at cumberlandskin.com or give us a call today at 615-257-7128.