Watch CBS News

Soaking Up The Sun, Safely: How To Best Protect Your Skin, And Spot Skin Cancer

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- The UV Index Sunday was in the high range, which means it could take 20 minutes of sun exposure for someone with fair skin to burn.

May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month. It's the most common type of cancer in the United States.

"Melanoma is on the rise for sure, particularly in Minnesota, which is one of the top 10 states for melanoma," said dermatologist Dr. Mohiba Tareen. "So we're seeing 20-year-olds unfortunately that are having to go to chemotherapy from their sun damage and their sun-tanning days."

Most skin cancers are caused by too much exposure to ultraviolet, or UV, rays from the sun or tanning beds. Melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer.

"People think just a little bit of sunscreen applied in the morning is enough," Dr. Tareen said. "We know you need to apply at least every two hours."

Sun Generic, Sunshine
(credit: CBS)

She says when you know you're going to be out in the sun, she recommends using a sunscreen with SPF 30 at a minimum.

But she says it's even more important to wear clothes that cover your arms and legs, and wear a wide-brim hat to protect your head, face and neck.

A change in skin growth is a warning sign. When looking at a mole or spot think of the alphabet:

A: Is it Asymmetrical?
B: Is the Border irregular?
C: is the Color uneven?
D: Is the Diameter larger than a pea?
E: Is the mole Evolving or changing in recent months?

If your mole or spot has any of these characteristics, you should talk to your doctor.

EMERGENCY COMPONENT - LOCAL

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.