Though melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer, the good news is that it is preventable if you follow some health guidelines for melanoma prevention. In this video, Dr. Anna Pavlick explains several steps for melanoma prevention, focusing on sun safety. Dr. Pavlick is an oncologist and melanoma specialist at the NYU Perlmutter Cancer Center.
For melanoma prevention, Dr. Pavlick encourages patients to practice what she calls “safe sun”. To practice safe sun, make sure to use a sunscreen that is SPF 45 or higher, and which provides protection against both UVA and UVB rays. Dr. Pavlick also explains the correct way to apply sunscreen. When most people apply sunscreen, they will usually just squirt it into their hand and unevenly spread a thin layer onto their skin. To apply sunscreen correctly, you should actually use as much sunscreen as would fill a shot glass for adequate protection. Another guideline for sun safety and melanoma prevention is to wear protective clothing and accessories such as long-sleeve shirts, light jackets, hats and sunglasses.
It is important to wear sunscreen every day, not just in the summer or on sunny days. Even for people in snowy areas, the reflection of the sun’s rays off the snow can cause people to get sunburned. So make sure you are always protected from the sun, no matter the weather. Dr. Pavlick also notes that men who often wear baseball hats will have their faces protected, but are not doing anything to protect their ears from the sun. For this reason it is very common for men to get melanoma on the tips of their ears, because they are not protected with a hat or with an application of sunscreen. To avoid sunburns and prevent melanoma and other types of skin cancer, make sure you follow these sun safety guidelines and are protected against the sun’s rays.