Skin cancer: sunscreen, early detection is key to reducing risk

May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month, and while Eterna MedSpa & Laser Vein Center is not a dermatology office, the staff knows how imperative sunscreen is to helping clients realize their best skin.

“After each treatment we end with an SPF,” said Kathe Malinowski, lead esthetician and marketing manager for Eterna MedSpa & Laser Vein Center. “And I recommend to all my clients using a daily SPF of at least 30 or higher.”

Additionally, she recommends her clients seeing their dermatologists annually for a professional exam.

Skin cancer is one of the most common types of cancer, and the number of cases continues to rise each year, according to the American Cancer Society. There are three main types: basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. Basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas are the most common and often highly curable. Melanoma is more dangerous and causes the most deaths.

The good news is, when caught early, skin cancer can be highly treatable.

Use the ABCD rule to look for some of the common signs of skin cancer:

1. A – Asymmetry: One half is unlike the other half.

2. B – Borders: Melanoma borders tend to be uneven.

3. C – Color: Varied from one area to another (shades of brown, black, red, or white).

4. D – Diameter: Diameter of 6mm or larger (size of a pencil eraser).

Contact your dermatologist if you spot one of these warning signs.

In honor of Skin Cancer Awareness Month, consider what steps you can take now to protect your body’s largest organ.

One simple option: sunscreen.

“It needs to be reapplied every couple of hours when you are out in the sun,” Malinowski said. “It is not one and done. People don’t usually use enough SPF. A shot glass full is a good measurement for the whole body.”

In the market for some SPF? At Eterna, clients can find the EltaMD SPF, Obagi SPF and Avene SPF.

“We have a variety in all three of those lines,” said Malinowski.

Eterna MedSpa & Laser Vein Center : 217 Vertin Boulevard, Shorewood, 60404 : 815.254.8888 :