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Protect your skin before hitting the court

May 7, 2007 04:49 PM

Not only is May Tennis month but it is also Melanoma awareness month. With the summer season approaching it is never too early to start protecting your skin. Every time you are out playing tennis your skin is exposed to sun damage. The American Academy of Dermatology sponsors the Melanoma Monday and National Skin Examination Day on the first Monday of May. This event was created to help increase community awareness about Malignant Melanoma, a type of skin cancer. Under blazing southern skies, tennis players are especially at risk when they hit the courts without any protection from the sun. Since sun is one of the main causes in the formation of skin cancer, here are some useful tips to protect your skin:

  1. Always use sunscreen before and during a tennis match to avoid sun damage.
  2. Wear a hat with a 4-inch wide top.
  3. Sunglasses will help to protect your eyes from a melanoma behind your eyes.
  4. Avoid the sun between the hours of 12 to 3 pm.

Melanomas take place from skin growths commonly know as “moles”. Most of moles are visible on the skin and look brown in color. Moles gradually go through a series of changes known as dysplasia. The higher the degree, the more likely the mole may turn into Melanoma. Although melanoma accounts for only about 4 to 5 percent of all skin cancer cases, it causes most skin cancer-related deaths. However, if detected and treated in its earliest stages, melanoma is often curable.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, there are five signs to detect a melanoma:

  1. Asymmetry. The mole doesn’t look completely even in appearance.
  2. Border. The margins should be even and smooth.
  3. Circumference. The mole should be nice and round.
  4. Diameter. The size of the mole should not be more than 6mm measured across the mole.
  5. Evolving. Any changes over time.

USTA Southern wants to remind its members to wear sunscreen before hitting the courts, and to visit your dermatologist for regular check-ups.




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