With the arrival of spring also comes warmer temperatures and an increase in the number of people participating in outdoor activities. As spring and summer vacations are planned, dermatologists encourage patients to be mindful of the danger associated with unprotected sun exposure and the increased risk of developing skin cancer as they make outdoor plans.

According to the American Cancer Society, skin cancer is the most common cancer in America, but is also one of the most preventable. Dermatologists recommend having different options available during outdoor activities to increase protection from dangerous ultraviolet (UV) rays, such as sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher with UVA and UVB protection, a hat with a wide brim, sunglasses and a lightweight long sleeve shirt.

Anyone can get skin cancer, which is why people of all ages and skin types are encouraged to take preventive measures. The most common signs of skin cancer are associated with visible changes to the skin such as a change in an existing mole, a new growth or a sore that doesn’t seem to heal. The most frequent types of skin cancer are basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma which have a cure rate of approximately 95 percent. Melanoma is a much more serious form of skin cancer, which can spread throughout the body and cause death if not caught and treated early.

The Plastic Surgery and Dermatology Center at Pikeville Medical Center consists of a dedicated and experienced team led by PMC Dermatologist Dr. Brooke Hensley. When patients notice changes in their skin or any spot that is changing, itching, bleeding or looks different from all others, they are encouraged to have it checked out. Dr. Hensley and her team have the knowledge and equipment necessary to conduct skin cancer biopsies and offer treatments and excisions of skin cancer in most cases.

For more information, visit https://www.pikevillehospital.org/plastic-surgery-and-dermatology-center/.