What’s the Difference Between UVA and UVB Rays?

Medically reviewed by Elizabeth Buchbinder, MD While the warmth of sunlight can be inviting after cold winter months, it is important to remember healthy habits to keep your skin safe in the sun. Prolonged and frequent sun exposure without the proper protection can result in an uncomfortable sunburn at best and significant skin damage at … Continued

How to Safely Get Enough Vitamin D

Dermatologists do not recommend unprotected sun exposure as way to increase your vitamin D levels. “It is better to protect yourself from the sun and take a vitamin D supplement if you have a deficiency,” says Cecilia Larocca, MD, of Dana-Farber.

Skin Tags and Skin Cancer: What You Should Know

Medically reviewed by Nicole R. LeBoeuf, MD, MPH A skin tag is a narrow stalk of hanging skin that bulges at the end. Skin tags are usually flesh-colored and can develop anywhere on the body, but are most often found in areas where the skin rubs together, such as the neck and armpit. Skin cancer … Continued

Skin Cysts and Cancerous Growths: What is the Difference?

Medically reviewed by Cecilia Larocca, MD New bumps or lumps on the skin can be concerning, especially if you aren’t sure whether it is a cancerous growth or a benign cyst. While it is often possible to distinguish between the two by touch and appearance, in some cases additional tests may be needed to determine … Continued

New Tanning Drug Could Protect Skin From the Sun

Scientists may have figured out a way to let people tan safely – without involving the sun. In an effort to further develop preventative measures for skin cancers like melanoma, researchers from Dana-Farber and other health care organizations have developed a potential topical cream that stimulates skin cells to produce the dark pigment, melanin. Melanin … Continued

Find Skin Cancer Early: Know Your ABCDEs [Infographic]

With an estimated 8,500 new cases of skin cancer diagnosed in the U.S. every day, it is important that you not only protect yourself from the sun’s UV rays, but also regularly check your skin for anything out of the ordinary. While freckles and moles are often harmless, it is important to perform regular self-exams … Continued

Does Elevation Increase Risk for Skin Cancer?

One of the most common questions asked about skin cancer risk, particularly by those who ski or hike, is whether altitude can increase the chance of developing skin cancer, specifically melanoma. We spoke with Jennifer Lin, MD, a dermatologist in Dana-Farber’s Melanoma Treatment Center, to learn more. Elevation does affect the risk of skin cancer … Continued

Screening Tips for Finding Skin Cancer Early

As we peel off winter clothing and head for the beach, it’s a perfect time to learn about the benefits of screening exams for melanoma and other skin cancers. Preventing these cancers with sun safety awareness is important – but so is detecting skin lesions in their earliest, most treatable stage. Melanoma, the deadliest form … Continued

What’s New in Skin Cancer Research?

Although malignant melanoma has been attracting much of the media spotlight because of promising new immunotherapy drugs, advances are also being made in other types of skin cancer. Nonmelanoma skin cancers, such as basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, are very common, with more than 3.5 million cases diagnosed annually. In fact, it’s estimated … Continued

Five Ways to Reduce Skin Cancer Risk this Winter

Whether you’re escaping the chill with a tropical vacation or skiing the slopes, sun safety is still important in the winter months. Because UV rays can be harmful even in frosty temperatures, protecting your skin is a year-round responsibility. Allison Goddard, MD, of Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center for Skin (Cutaneous) Oncology, shares some wintertime … Continued

What are Merkel Cells?

Merkel cells are found just below your skin’s surface, on the lowest level of your top layer of skin (the epidermis). Connected to nerve endings associated with the sensation of touch, Merkel cells play a key role in helping us identify fine details and textures by touch. A rare and dangerous form of skin cancer … Continued

What’s the Difference Between Melanoma and Skin Cancer?

Many people think that skin cancer and melanoma are the same thing, but actually, melanoma is one type of skin cancer. Other forms of the disease are less aggressive and more common. Melanoma is the rarest form of skin cancer, with approximately 76,000 new cases diagnosed each year in the U.S. It is also the most aggressive … Continued

Teens and young adults overlook skin cancer risk

The call of the beach is hard to ignore on sunny summer days. Yet many teens and young adults do not follow protection tips when they hit the sand. They remain the most difficult age group to convince that ultraviolet (UV) rays, which come from the sun and indoor tanning venues, can cause cancer.