Being a pale-skinned, blue-eyed Floridian is a lot of work if I don’t want to end up with skin cancer like so many others, but it is completely worth the effort. Just because you are not from Florida, does not mean that you don’t need to protect your skin as well. The sun knows no state boundaries, and it is often the cumulative exposure to UV light over many years, which leads to skin cancer, not to mention collagen destruction and that gross leathery look.
Not only am I urging you to take care of yourself, but also your patient’s dermatology needs. Don’t just look in their mouth, but examine the entire head and neck of your patient. Look for irregular or abnormal lesions that match the ABCDE’s of Melanoma. The June 2012 issue of The Academy of General Dentistry’s magazine Impact had a feature article on this very topic, “Recognizing Skin Lesions and Knowing When to Refer Your Patients”. A student membership is only $16, and you gain a world of information through their publications to supplement the great info we already get from ASDA.
Skin Saving Tips:
~Carolyn A. Norton, Florida ’14, Contributing Editor