People can do a lot of things themselves to prevent skin cancer, certainly
avoiding excessive sun exposure. You don't want to get sunburn. Tanning
parlors, really not a good deal and unfortunately there are a lot of
teenagers that are using tanning parlors today. It's really dangerous.
Sunscreens are a very important part of maintaining your skin's health.
They don't necessarily replace things like avoiding the heat of the day. If
you're going to have to be out during the heat of the day, it's best if
you're going to use a broad hat and wear protective clothing and try to
seek shade as much as you can.

Then using sunscreen, if you're going to be out for a long time, you really
should use a sunscreen that's got a pretty high SPF, something like SPF 30
or higher. Certainly 15 or higher, and reapply every few hours if you're
going to be outside for a long time. There are some products now in the
market, one of which we've helped to develop that you can use as a base
sunscreen. You can actually apply it in the shower and it gives you a basic
sunscreen that you can use just for mild sun exposure, but not if you're
going to be out for long periods of time.

If you've been exposed to the sun and you're at risk for skin cancer, you
really need to understand things to look for that you want to call to your
doctor's attention. If you have a lesion on your skin say that's bleeding,
or itching, or changing, it's black and you have fair skin, that's
something very important that you want to get checked out. So if you see
anything like that, don't just wait around. Go see your dermatologist, get
them to look at it, get them to take a biopsy to make sure it gets read by
someone that knows what they're doing.

Maintaining Healthy Skin to Prevent Skin Cancer

Dr. Clay J. Cockerell covers what to do and what to avoid to help prevent skin cancer and keep your skin healthy.