Dermatologist explains how to have a sun safe summer

Many of our favorite activities in south Louisiana involve being outside in the sun.
Published: May. 30, 2022 at 10:34 AM CDT

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Many of our favorite activities in south Louisiana involve being outside in the sun.

“We are increasingly seeing larger and larger amounts of skin cancer every year, every month,” said Dr. Justin Creel, a Dermatologist at Renaissance Dermatology and Aesthetics.

Creel said we’re at a higher risk for skin cancer.

“As we get into these hotter, high-intensity months skin cancer is very prevalent and every little thing that you do now will save you down the road,” said Creel.

May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month. Experts said about 55,000 folks from Louisiana are estimated to be diagnosed with common skin cancers this year. Creel said melanoma is the number one type of cancer.

“Anytime you have a mole that’s growing asymmetrically,” said Creel. “If you have an area of the mole that’s growing darker.”

He said there are surgical and nonsurgical treatment options for skin cancer. This includes Image-Guided SRT. It’s the latest technology to cure nonmelanoma skin cancer without surgery.

“Definitely want to establish with a dermatologist who can really go through your individual risk factors and tailor that based on your own skin type,” said Creel.

As you start planning for summer, he recommends using sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher and staying in the shade if you can.

His general rule: get checked out every one to two years.

“I do want everyone to be aware that it is absolutely crucial that we do what we can to prevent these skin cancers from developing,” said Creel.

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