Protecting your skin is vital as summer approaches

Dermatologists urge people to take care of their skin

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WEST POINT, Miss. (WCBI)- When people hear the word cancer, skin cancer is not typically the first thought, but doctors will tell you that skin cancer is serious and can be deadly if left untreated. That’s why dermatologists urge people to take care of their skin; especially as we move into the sunny months. Skin cancer can form from the smallest of blemishes on your body and often it comes from over-exposure to the sun.

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“Most times though it will come from the sun and sunburns will make you, even more, higher risk of having a skin cancer so you definitely want to avoid getting a sunburn,” said West Point Dermatology and Allergy Clinic owner Dr. Phillip Hooker.

Hooker said the best way to prevent sunburn and skin cancers is to cover your skin as much as possible.

“Cover-up when you’re outside so I like the big grandpa and grandma hats that people wear out working in the gardens and fields and to shade your ears and your neck a cap only shades mainly your forehead and nose,” said Dr. Hooker.

Covering up skin is just one way to protect your skin; using good sunscreen also helps.

“The best type of sunscreen really is whatever you like that feels good to your skin. I recommend a number of at least 30 but I just tell the patients to pick up the highest number on the shelf because it’s going to give you more protection that lasts longer,” said Dr. Hooker.

As the summer approaches Dr. Hooker says it’s best to stay in between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. since the sun is fully out and to also do self-checkups.

“Check yourself over completely every month go over yourself and look for anything new that you haven’t seen before or anything changing like a mole that’s getting bigger or changing colors you better have it checked because it could be the beginnings of a skin cancer,” said Dr. Hooker.

If you see something out of the ordinary on your skin, Dr. Hooker urges you to contact your local dermatologist and have it checked out.