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Some of us learned about skin cancer the hard way — by getting skin cancer ourselves or by seeing a loved one struggle. For many of us, sunscreen was something we thought about…never…even after experiencing multiple sunburns. Also, indoor tanning was a thing and self-care meant coating ourselves in mineral oil and letting the sun do its worst.

Some damage is done for some of us, and that’s ok. Most skin cancers are curable when caught early, so apart from practicing sun-safety, the best thing we can do for our skin is to schedule a skin cancer screening with a dermatologist. Think of this as self-care 2.0 — the kind that will give you peace of mind and may even save your life.

For those of you who respond best to fear-based messaging, remember that Arizona receives nearly year-round sun exposure. We are close to the sun (high altitude) and the equator (low latitude), meaning we have less atmospheric protection from UV radiation than many parts of the Earth. What is more, our hot, dry climate and geographic features (lakes, mountains, deserts) draw us outdoors where we tend to wear less clothing to keep our skin cool. If you don’t already use sunscreen daily, get some product recommendations or trial and error your way into finding a sunscreen you will apply every day. And schedule that screening.