If This Sounds Like You, You Are at Risk of Skin Cancer

According to research, more than 4 million cases of skin cancer are diagnosed in the U.S. every year. The good news is that skin cancer is highly preventable and treatable, as long as it’s caught early.

Here are four warning signs that you might have skin cancer.

A High Number of Moles

Most people have between 10 and 30 moles, which are small growths on the skin that usually appear before age 20. More than 100 moles can be a sign of dysplastic nevi syndrome, which puts you at a higher risk for skin cancer.

Pale Skin

People with pale skin are at a higher risk for skin cancer as they have less melanin, the pigment that helps protect the skin from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays. If you have pale skin, take extra care to avoid sun exposure, and always wear sunscreen with an SPF (sun protection factor) of 30 or higher when you are outdoors.

Moles on Your Nails

Moles on the nails are usually benign, but in some rare cases, they can be a sign of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. If you notice any changes in your nail moles, such as an increase in size or change in color, see a dermatologist right away.

A Family History of Skin Cancer

If you have a family member who has had skin cancer, you are at an increased risk of developing the disease yourself. Inform your dermatologist right away if there is a history of skin cancer in your family so that they can keep a close watch for any suspicious lesions.

See Your Doctor

Even if you don’t have any of these risk factors for skin cancer, it’s still important to have regular checkups with a dermatologist and to perform monthly self-exams at home. If you notice anything suspicious on your skin, don’t hesitate to make an appointment with a doctor.

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