Dermatology: Patient Education/Resources

Skin Cancer Information

Sun Safety Tips

  • Seek shade, especially during 10am-4pm. Just after sunrise and just before sunset (as represented by the top-left of our website) are the times with the least UV radiation exposure.
  • Wear a broad spectrum sunsblock that blocks both UVA and UVB. At least SPF15 is recommended for daily activities, and higher (SPF 45+) for extended sun exposure.
  • Re-apply your sunblock every 2 hours.
  • Cover up as much as possible with clothing, a broad-brimmed hat, and UV-blocking sunglasses.
  • Avoid tanning, and especially avoid sunburns. One sunburn can double your risk of malignant melanoma skin cancer.
  • Teach children sun safety - sunblocks are safe on babies older than 6 months old. Younger newborns should be shielded from the sun at all times.
  • Perform a monthly self-exam, and see a dermatologist at least once a year (sooner if you suspect skin cancer).

The American Academy of Dermatology recommends patients see a dermatologist when they have...

  • Moles that are large, changing, or new
  • Family history of melanoma
  • Fair, freckled skin, or more than 50 moles
  • Personal history of skin cancer
  • Personal history of prolonged sun and/or tanning booth exposure
  • Personal history of multiple or severe sun burns, particularly before age 18
  • Personal history of radiation treatment or exposure
  • Long term use of immunosuppressive drugs (e.g. drugs used after organ transplant or to treat arthritis)
  • For more information, see:

Dermatologists also treat:

  • Warts
  • Nail infections
  • Scalp/hair infections
  • Hair loss
  • Unhealing wounds/ulcers
  • Excessive sweating
  • Any other condition dealing with skin, hair, or nails

Educational Pamphlets from NIAMS*

*This information requires Adobe PDF reader and was provided copyright-free from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases.

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