Stricker Assessing whether you are at a higher risk of developing skin cancer starts by looking in the mirror. People with a certain kind of complexion are, unfortunately, more at risk. Additional precautions are even more important if you live in a sunny climate such as Central Florida. At Hillcrest Dermatology and Plastic Surgery, I often advise patients who have a greater risk of getting skin cancer to be especially vigilant about sun protection.
The factors that put someone at a higher risk include:
- Natural blond or red hair
- Fair skin
- A history of numerous sunburns
- A family history of skin cancer, especially melanoma
- Living in a hot climate or at a high altitude
- Having a lot of moles (especially irregularly shaped ones)
If some or all of these factors apply to you, be sure to make a high-quality, broad-spectrum sunscreen part of your daily skin care regimen, in addition to other skin cancer prevention tips.
All this is not to say that people with darker hair and skin shouldn’t also take smart, simple steps to prevent skin cancer. With more than 3.5 million cases of skin cancer diagnosed annually and the rate of melanoma (the most serious type of skin cancer) increasing each year, everyone should be sensitive to the link between sun exposure and skin cancer. To wrap up our series of blogs on skin cancer awareness, I would like to remind all our readers about the importance of awareness, education, and diligence, no matter what your complexion.
And if you do have a higher risk for skin cancer and haven’t consulted a dermatologist, request an appointment online at either our Orlando location or our new office in The Villages.