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Skin Cancer Awareness Month: Protecting Your Skin as Summer Approaches! (WLWT-TV Interview May 2023)


🌞🩺🌿 Prioritizing Skin Health: Unveiling Skin Cancer Awareness Month! 💙

Welcome, everyone! ☀️ As we embrace the beauty of May, let’s shine a spotlight on a crucial topic: skin cancer awareness. With the arrival of warmer weather and increased outdoor activities, safeguarding our skin becomes paramount. We’re thrilled to share valuable insights from our recent discussion with Dr. Jon Mendelsohn and Hope Merz from the Advanced Cosmetic Surgery and Laser Center! 🤝

At WLWT, we had the privilege of hosting Dr. Mendelsohn and Hope Merz, who shared their expertise on skin cancer prevention, detection, and treatment. 🎓 Their invaluable insights will empower us to be more proactive in preserving our skin’s health. ☔

As we prepare to bask in the great outdoors, let’s remember these essential tips from our experts:

1️⃣ Embrace sunscreen religiously! 🧴🌞 Shield your skin from harmful UV rays by diligently applying broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. Reapply generously every two hours, especially if swimming or sweating.

2️⃣ Seek refuge in shade during peak hours. ☂️ The sun’s rays are most intense between 10 am and 4 pm. Whenever possible, limit sun exposure during these times and find solace under an umbrella or wide-brimmed hat.

3️⃣ Dress with flair while safeguarding your skin! 👒👓 Opt for protective clothing like long-sleeved shirts, wide-brimmed hats, and UV-blocking sunglasses to shield yourself from harmful radiation.

4️⃣ Conduct self-examinations regularly. 👀🔍 Familiarize yourself with your skin and examine it frequently for any changes, such as new moles, growths, or alterations in size, shape, or color. Early detection is the key!

5️⃣ Schedule routine check-ups with a dermatologist. 👨‍⚕️🔬 Professionals like Dr. Mendelsohn are here to help! Regular skin check-ups can identify potential issues and ensure timely treatment, if necessary.

Let’s make skin health our top priority this May and beyond! 💙 Join us in spreading the word about skin cancer prevention, and don’t hesitate to reach out to Hope Merz at the Advanced Cosmetic Surgery and Laser Center if you have any concerns or questions. Together, we can protect our skin and revel in sunny days with peace of mind. ☀️🌿



It’s the middle of Skin Cancer Awareness Month. And as we all spend more time outside, it’s especially important that we’re taking care of our skin. So we’re learning all about skin cancer prevention, detection and treatment from the experts. 

So we’re joined here today by Dr. Jon Mendelsohn, as well as Hope Merz, from the Advanced Cosmetic Surgery and Laser Center in Hyde Park. Thank you both for being here today. I know it’s a busy time of day, but you came out of the office for us. 

All right. So let’s get right to it and Hope I’ll start with you. Let’s first talk about the warning signs. I think we all see different spots and things on our body, but what should we be looking for specifically? 

So specifically, there’s two different types of skin cancer lesions. So there’s typically the non-melanoma type. These can look like little red flaky patches that don’t heal up, little bumps that can almost look just like an acne lesion that doesn’t go away or just something kind of scaly that is tender. We always want to check those things. The other things we want to look for are the melanoma type lesions. So these come from moles. So they’re going to look more brown little circles on your skin that may look irregular with borders and different things like that. 

But, you know, we can always check them out in the office and tell you what we might need. 

Like this right here. 

Oh, there you go. Yeah. So that actually was a melanoma, which is a little bit atypical presentation. But you do see the irregular pink and brown colors, the large size of the lesion. The borders are irregular.  Yeah, pretty regular for melanoma. Yeah. 

And this is nothing to play around with. And Dr. Mendelsohn, as we observe our own bodies and skin, when should we be concerned about a spot that we may see on our skin? 

Well, you know, we talk a lot about the ABCD and Es and basically if there’s asymmetry, border irregularity, color changes, things start to grow the diameter. And so if you have a lesion, if you have something that is hanging around for a while and it hasn’t changed, it’s something that you should have evaluated. But certainly if there is change in any of those things, those are more suspicious and that’s when you should probably have it evaluated. 

There are lots of treatment options for people. I know my husband had a couple of spots that were precancerous, but they were concerning. He had them burned off here recently, talk to us about some of the treatment options depending on what people see. 

Yeah, we saw that on social media.

Exciting. Yes, absolutely. 

Well, I was so glad that he shared it, too, because I do think it’s important to let people know, hey, look, this happened to me. If you have something like this, get it treated.

Hope treats a lot of these things. So hope, why don’t you talk about what you do? 

So those lesions actually are very, very common, especially in fair skin types. And they show up like those little red flaky patches that he had frozen off with liquid nitrogen, and that can completely eradicate that lesion so it doesn’t turn into a squamous cell carcinoma going deeper that we have to cut out and suture to close. So that can be such an easy way to get rid of something that could be cancerous. 

There’s detection and also prevention. Now, Hope, what are some things that we can all do this summer and beyond to prevent skin cancer in the first place? 

Yeah, So of course, sun protection. So we want to do sunscreen. We prefer actually sun blocks, which are mineral based. So when you look on the back of your tube and it says active ingredients, you want to look for zinc and titanium, those are protective because they make the UV rays bounce off the skin. So they’re really, really effective at preventing the UV radiation from coming through the skin. So sunblock, you have to reapply every 90 minutes.  

I have to ask because there is a myth that, you know, it’s while not as prevalent in darker skin tones, it’s still possible. So talk about that. Just really the importance of wearing sunscreen and protecting even in darker skin tones. 

Absolutely. So everybody should be protected. Sun protection includes your SPF, your hats, but so someone may have more melanin to their skin tone. That means they have more inherent protection against the sun. But it is still a risk factor. And absolutely everybody needs to be careful. 

I’m so glad you’re on here today. As I said, my husband had a scare. A close girlfriend of mine had something taken off of her neck in her back here recently. And she is brown, you know, look. So, you know, her skin looks beautiful, but she admits she loves the sun. And it’s one of those things that especially this month, but always we should pay attention to. Thanks. 

Thanks so much for being here. 

Thank you. Hope Merz and Dr. Jon Mendelsohn again from Advanced Cosmetic Surgery and Laser Center. Thanks so much for breaking it all down for us. We appreciate it. 

Thank you, guys.