Safety Under the Sun

With regular skin cancer screenings

Skin cancer is the most common cancer of all. In fact, one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime, according to the American Academy of Dermatology (ADA). Fortunately, skin cancer is also one of the easiest to treat if you find it early.

mom putting sunscreen on her son

Here are 5 ways to protect yourself:

1. Do skin self-exams

Skin self-exams are a good way to detect early skin changes that may mean melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer. If melanoma is allowed to grow, it can spread to other parts of the body.

  • Check regularly for abnormal skin growth or skin growth that changes in color, shape, size, or appearance.
  • Check for any skin lesions that don’t heal.
  • Ask your spouse, other family member or a close friend to check your scalp, back and other places that are hard for you to see.

2. Have regular skin-cancer screenings

Ask your doctor if you should get regular skin cancer screenings – especially if you have fair skin or spend lots of time in the sun. During a skin cancer screening, your doctor or a dermatologist will do a visual check to help find skin that could be cancer or turn into it eventually. The screening does not involve any blood work.

Screenings are important because there are many different types of skin cancer. They include:

  • actinic keratoses (AK),
  • basal cell carcinoma (BCC),
  • squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), and
  • melanoma

BCC and SCC are the most common forms of skin cancer, but melanoma is the most deadly. The good news is that all three types have a high cure rate if they’re detected early.

3. Access a licensed dermatologist without leaving home

There’s no reason to wait weeks for the skin care you need. Telehealth from Tufts Health Plan, powered by Teladoc®, can resolve your skin issues within days by web or mobile app. Teladoc’s licensed dermatologists can treat ongoing or complex skin conditions like psoriasis, rosacea, suspicious moles and many more – quickly, conveniently and discreetly.

Teladoc is available to Commercial (employer groups who offer health insurance to) plan members as part of your benefits.1Teladoc visits for dermatology services are the same cost as a PCP visit.2 Find out more about telehealth and use it the next time you need a dermatologist.

4. Always wear sunscreen

The ADA recommends that everyone use sunscreen with the following:

  • Broad-spectrum protection (protects against UVA and UVB rays)
  • SPF 30 or higher.
  • Water resistance.

5. Wear protective clothing and stay out of the midday sun

By taking these simple, common-sense steps, you can protect yourself from skin cancer and enjoy time outdoors.

  1. Self-insured Commercial groups need to opt-in to the program. Telehealth is not available for members with Tufts Health Direct, Tufts Health RITogether, Tufts Health Together, Tufts Health Unify, or Medicare plans.
  2. For Saver plan members, the cost is $75 for a consult with a dermatologist and is subject to the deductible. Once the deductible is met, visits are covered 100%.

    Sources: American Academy of Dermatology, Healthwise, WebMD
    Employers who are self insured may not have this benefit included. Ask your employer if your coverage includes telehealth.