(COLORADO SPRINGS) — May is skin cancer awareness month, an important topic for Coloradans who are more prone to skin cancer thanks to our sunny climate, high altitude, and a population that spends a lot of time doing outdoor activities.

Dr. Renata Prado, a Dermatologist at Vanguard Skin Specialists, said the good news is skin cancer is preventable and curable if caught early.

She said most skin cancers present as a new growing or non-healing lesion. Anything that is changing in size, shape, color, or is scabbing, growing, bleeding, or not healing should be evaluated.

The best protection is prevention and preventive measures that should be taken all year round.

The American Academy of Dermatology recommends avoiding the sun from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., using sun-protective clothing, hats, and sunglasses, along with using sunscreen in areas that cannot otherwise be covered.

Dr. Prado said sunscreen should be reapplied every few hours and sunscreen with a Sun Protective Filter (SPF) of 30 or higher is best. You should also select a sunscreen that has broad spectrum coverage of both UVA and UVB rays.

According to Dr. Prado, most adults should have annual skin exams but those with a personal or family history of skin cancer should see their dermatologist more often.