The Student News Site of Stephen Decatur High School

The Hawk

The Student News Site of Stephen Decatur High School

The Hawk

The Student News Site of Stephen Decatur High School

The Hawk


Five Things To Know About Protecting Your Skin


Since summer is hitting, it is important to know the signs and why skin cancer is so you can easily detect it and not risk your life.

1) There are three major types of skin cancer

The three major types of skin cancer are Basal cell cancer, melanoma, and squamous cell carcinoma.

Basal cell cancer is the most common and grows slowly. It appears as a white waxy lump or as a brown scaly patch on areas that are exposed to the sun like the neck or face.

Melanoma is the most dangerous of the kinds of skin cancer. It can appear to grow at an unusual rate in the appearance of a mole and can change in an already existing mole. It can occur anywhere on your body even in a place that never is near the sun.

Squamous cell carcinoma signs include a rough, reddish scaly area: open sore; brown spot that looks like it comes with age; a firm, dome-shaped growth; tiny, rhinoceros-shaped horn that is growing from the skin: and a sore that occurs on an old scar.

2) Skin cancer is the most common in our country.

Skin cancer in the United States is extremely common and can happen to anyone. Some people have higher chances than others, but there are preventable ways so you decrease the risk of having skin cancer. 

3) Avoid Tanning Beds

People should avoid tanning beds because being exposed to ultraviolet (UV) radiation can damage the DNA in our skin cells. Having too much exposure can lead to premature skin aging, eye damage, and skin cancer. Tan beds do not protect against sun burn and can lead to many serious injuries. 

4) Make sure to practice sun safety so you can reduce the risk of skin cancer.

Practicing sun safety includes staying in the shade; wearing clothes that covers your arms and legs; wearing a hat that covers your face, head, neck, and ears; wear sunglasses that block UVA rays and UVB ray; and make sure to use sunscreen that has a SPF of 15 or higher. Make sure to apply sunscreen 30 minutes before going into the sun and reply apply it every two hours. 

5) Knowing the signs if you have skin cancer is important. 

Even though the common times of skin cancers are different, it is important to know if you could have skin cancer so you can report it and have it checked out by a professional.

Remember the A-B-C-D-E which is known as: Asymmetrical, Border, Color, Diameter, and Evolving. Asymmetrical means that if the mole or spot has an irregular shape or it looks different. Border means if the border is irregular or jagged. The Color means if it is uneven. The Diameter means that the mole or spot is larger than the size of a pea. Lastly, evolving means that the mole or spot has changed within weeks or months. 

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