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Man Being Examined For Skin Cancer At The Center For Surgical Dermatology

The Most Common Skin Cancer Myths and Misconceptions

With skin cancer being as common as it is (psst, it’s the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the United States!), it’s no surprise that there are a lot of misconceptions and skin cancer myths floating around out there.

To help you better understand this widespread disease, and the most common types of skin cancer, including basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma skin cancer, we sat down with one of our board-certified dermatologists and Mohs surgeons to address the most common skin cancer myths brought up by patients.

Common Skin Cancer Myths

Skin Cancer Myth:

“The skin cancer I have today is due to my sun behavior habits over the past couple of years.”

Skin Cancer Fact:

Most skin cancers are actually the result of the cumulative sun damage over your lifetime. Each time your skin is exposed to ultraviolet light from the sun, the DNA within your skin cells experiences damage.

While your skin is able to repair the majority of this damage, over time, the amount of damage can overwhelm the skin’s ability to repair it. This results in the development of skin cancer. In some instances, there may be skin growths or scaly patches that develop following excessive sun exposure, and these are important to have screened by a board-certified dermatologist.

Skin Cancer Myth:

“My skin cancer started when I bumped my head on a tree branch while I was gardening.”

Skin Cancer Fact:

Skin cancers do not result from acute injuries. However, skin cancers alter your skin cells and prevent them from adhering to each other as they normally would.

As a result, the skin in the area of the skin cancer is much more delicate and prone to bleeding and breaking open. A small injury, such as a scrape or even skin irritation, can therefore easily open the skin.

Skin Cancer Myth:

“Skin cancer is unlikely to affect me. I’m never going to get it.”

Skin Cancer Fact:

Skin cancer affects one in five Americans by the age of seventy. Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer and more people are diagnosed with skin cancer each year in the US than all other cancers combined.

With those statistics in mind, it is incredibly important to understand that there is a chance you may develop skin cancer and should take the necessary prevention steps, such as wearing protective clothing, reducing the use of tanning beds, wearing broad-rimmed hats and sunscreen, to reduce your risk of skin cancer.

Skin Cancer Myth:

“Skin cancer doesn’t affect individuals with darker skin types.”

Skin Cancer Fact:

Skin cancer can occur in individuals of any skin type and ethnicity. If you have darker skin, while you generally have a lower risk compared to fair skinned individuals, there is still a risk of developing skin cancer, especially if you have spent a significant amount of time in the sun.

Skin Cancer Myth:

“The damage is already done, so wearing sunscreen now won’t make any difference in preventing skin cancer.”

Skin Cancer Fact:

While sun damage is cumulative over our lifetimes, only about 23% of our lifetime sun exposure occurs by age eighteen. Regular use of a broad spectrum sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher reduces the risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma by about 40%.

Furthermore, 90% of non-melanoma skin cancers are associated with UV radiation, so every day of sun protection with sunscreen, wide-brimmed hats, and avoiding peak UV rays at midday counts.

Schedule Your Skin Cancer Screening in Westerville, Ohio

If you’ve never scheduled a skin cancer screening or you are overdue for your next one, take a moment to schedule an appointment with one of the experienced board-certified dermatologists at the Center of Surgical Dermatology. We can help you understand the risk factors and warning signs to help prevent the development of skin cancers.

We’re experts in evaluating, detecting, and diagnosing the most common types of skin cancer, including basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. Additionally, our team of experts provide a variety of skin cancer treatment options, including Mohs surgery, surgical excision, and more.

Skin cancer treatment is often more successful with early detection, so schedule your screening today. Get in touch with us by calling (614) 847-4100 or using our online contact form.


Skin Cancer Treatment at the Center for Surgical Dermatology 

Center of Surgical Dermatology is the largest medical and surgical skin treatment and wellness facility in Central Ohio. Since 2007, our board-certified dermatologists, fellowship-trained Mohs surgeons, and caring professional staff have provided patients with the most innovative and advanced skin cancer treatments they can trust in an environment second to none. Learn more about our state-of-the-art Dermatology Center before booking your appointment today.

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