May is Melanoma Awareness Month: Record-Breaking Temperatures are Leading to "Early Season" Sun Burns

The record-breaking temperatures we've been experiencing here in Rochester NY, following an unseasonably harsh winter, means more time spent outdoors for many theses days.

The number of patients being treated for sunburn is much higher this year. It's a common problem that dermatologists treat during spring because patients undermine the magnitude of the sun's rays since they haven't seen it much over the winter season.

Wearing sunblock and UV protective clothing shouldn't be based on temperature. Anytime the sun is out, you can get a burn, even on the cloudy, spring days. It is crucial to protect yourself against the harmful sunrays that lead to sunburn, sun damage, age spots and event skin cancer.

While the symptoms of sunburn may be temporary, the skin damage is permanent and sometimes invisible. Sunburn causes visible signs of aging, sun poisoning and increases a person's risk for getting skin cancer, including melanoma, one of the deadliest forms of cancer. Severe and/or multiple sunburns, at any age, increases the risk for developing skin cancer.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, more than 3.5 million new cases of skin cancer are diagnosed in more than 2 million people in the United States every year, and that 137,310 new cases of melanoma will be diagnosed in 2015.

I was a guest on  TV 13 WHAM ABC & Fox Rochester's morning show to warn viewers about the danger of sun damage during melanoma awareness month.

~ Dr. Arthur