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May 12, 2022

Q&A with Dr. Knox: Skin Cancer Prevention 

by Mary Faison Knox, MD

Summer is quickly approaching, and it’s especially important to protect yourself from exposure to the sun’s harsh rays to prevent damage to your skin and decrease your risk of skin cancer. Today, board-certified Family Medicine Physician, Dr. Mary Faison Knox, from Avance Care SouthPark answers all your top questions on skin cancer prevention tips to keep you and your family safe this summer!


Q: One way to keep skin protection top of mind is to perform routine skin checks to catch any abnormalities on time. How often should someone have a skin check and why?
A: Patients should always be on the lookout for new “spots” and moles that have changed. A dermatologist isn’t always necessary unless you are at a high risk for skin cancer. If you’ve had skin cancer in the past or if you have a family history of melanoma, it’s a good idea to have an experienced dermatologist check you annually.


Q: What are some signs to look out for when doing a skin check?
A: Anything that grows quickly, bleeds easily, or doesn’t seem to be healing needs to be checked out. It’s always a good idea to have your annual physical so that a healthcare provider can check your skin each year.


Q: What are your top 3 safety tips for skin cancer prevention?
A: 1) wear sunscreen! 2) wear sunscreen! 3) wear clothing with high SPF over the sunscreen!


Q: What should we look for when choosing sunscreen?
A: Use sunscreen that you will actually wear! Some can be irritating to certain skin types, and some can be too “thick” for people’s tastes. It’s so important to wear SOMETHING to protect skin. Ideally, folks should try to use titanium or zinc products, as these provide full spectrum UVA and UVB blockage, which other ingredients do not do.


Make sure to incorporate Dr. Knox’s helpful tips in your health toolkit this summer to protect yourself and loved ones. Preventive care and annual wellness checks play a huge role in detecting skin damage or skin cancer in its early stages. Schedule an annual physical with one of our Avance Care providers to get a skin check done before summer begins. And don’t forget sunscreen for your next pool day!

Looking for a Raleigh provider that specializes in dermatological services? Schedule an appointment with Colin Gage, PA-C at our West Cary office.

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