Did you know that this month is Melanoma Awareness Month? As we in the Northern Hemisphere head into the sunnier days of summer, it’s important to protect yourself against the possibility of all skin cancers. Although melanoma is the most dangerous and most likely to metastasize (spread to the lymph nodes and other organs), we also need to be careful and vigilant about basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas.
Massage therapists are not doctors, not by a long shot, but we are trained to recognize the basics about moles and spots that look like areas of concern. If we see a spot that has irregular borders or unusual coloration or texture, we might tell you about it and advise you to see a doctor to get it checked out. We would always rather be safe than sorry.
Here are some things you can do to protect your skin:
Sunscreen! There’s been a lot of publicity of late around the chemicals in sunscreens and how they can be harmful not only to us, but to the larger environment. Check the Environmental Working Group’s sun tips and guides to safe sunscreens at ewg.org/sunscreen. (Personally, I love the Blue Lizard products.)
Lightweight clothing and long sleeves. Breathable cottons and linens allow you to stay cool while keeping your skin covered.
Hats. Don’t forget the top of your head, the back of your neck, and the top of your ears.
Have a safe and happy and healthy summer!
Be well, healthy, and whole,