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Local doctors remind the public to wear sunscreen while enjoying the outdoors

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LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) - In the summer months, we all want to spend more time outdoors. Local health officials remind people not to forget to put sunscreen on and recommend an SPF of 30 or higher.

If you go outside without sunscreen, health officials recommend people wear a wide brim hat, long sleeves, and sunglasses for protection.

Zach April, a Family Medicine Resident at Mayo Clinic Health System, said the sun's UV rays are a significant factor in causing skin cancer.

"Even though sun exposure can increase your risk for skin cancer, certainly, I don't want people to think they have to stay inside all of the time," April said. "Everyone needs to wear sunscreen, but If you are a fair skin toned individual, it is especially important to wear sunscreen ."

April said people should monitor moles and sunspots on the skin because it could be a detection of skin cancer like malignant melanoma.

Unusual moles that may indicate melanoma

This ABCDE guide can help you determine if a mole or a spot may indicate melanoma or other skin cancers:

  • A is for asymmetrical shape. One half is unlike the other half.
  • B is for border. Look for moles with irregular, notched or scalloped borders.
  • C is for color. Look for growths that have changed color, have many colors or have uneven color.
  • D is for diameter. Look for new growth in a mole larger than 1/4 inch (about 6 millimeters).
  • E is for evolving. Watch for moles that change in size, shape, color or height, especially if part or all of a mole turns black. Moles may also evolve to develop new signs and symptoms, such as itchiness or bleeding.
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Lindsey Ford

Lindsey Ford is a multimedia journalist.

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