It might not feel like it, but despite the rain, cool weather and quarantine, Summer IS coming. If you haven’t already, you’ll start spending more and more time outside.

As a plastic surgeon, I see the effects of unprotected sun exposure every day. In my practice, this mostly entails working with patients to correct and reverse the visible aging effects of unprotected sun exposure: pigment spots, wrinkles, and loss of elasticity. But I also see a lot of skin cancers.

And since May is Skin Cancer Awareness month, I thought it would be a good idea to present some statistics and talk about prevention.

Skin Cancer Facts 1 in 5 Americans will developer skin cancer by the age of 70

When detected early, the five year survival rate for melanoma is 99%

A few steps that can go a long way in reducing your chances of skin cancer include avoiding the sun when rays are strongest, proper sun protection with protective clothing, a good physical sunblock, and staying away from tanning beds. And be sure not to ignore any new growths, bumps, freckles or sores that develop on your skin. Should you develop a skin cancer, it’s much simpler to remove smaller occurrences.