Just as the temperatures are heating up this summer, so is the danger of the sun getting more intense than ever.
"An interesting fact, in 1935, the risk of getting melanoma was one in 1,500. In the year 2000, people have a risk of getting melanoma that is one in 75. It's an epidemic and melanoma is the skin cancer that kills," says Dr. Cary Fitchmun, family medicine.
Skin cancer may show itself in several ways. Moles that are bleeding or change color, red scaly skin, sores that don't heal, or spots that look pearly or waxy. Or a spot on the skin that constantly itches needs to be checked out.
Just as it is recommended that women do monthly breast self-exams, the American Cancer Society recommends that every person checks their skin at least once a month. Those over age 50 with fair skin and freckles are most at risk.
Remember, all sunscreens are not the same. Dr. Fitchmun says the higher the SPF the better, and look for micronized zinc oxide, it's new, and he says it works best. It's sold under the name Coppertone Spectrum 3.