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Ask Doctor Cory.

Dear Dr. Cory: How can you identify skin cancer it takes its full effect?

Joshua Kitzrow Chandler, Arizona

Dear Joshua:

The AAD says to use the letters ABCD when watching for signs of skin cancer in moles or pigmented spots:

A = Asymmetry, one half doesn't look like the other half.

B = Border is irregular, not completely round, symmetrical, or even,

C = Color varies from one area to another, with shades of brown, black, or tan; at times it can also be red, white, or blue.

D = Diameter larger than 6 millimeters (about the size of a pencil eraser head).

Spending too much time in the sun during the first ten to fifteen years of life triples our chances for developing melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.

Protect yourself all year from the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays:

Avoid the sun when its rays are the strongest--between 10:00 A.M. and 4:00 P.M., on cloudy days as well as sunny days.

Use a waterproof sunscreen with a fifteen Sun Protection Factor (SPF), at least, that protects against both UVA and UVB rays when you are outside.

Wear dry, tightly woven, loose-fitting clothing and a wide-brimmed hat.

Wear sunglasses that give 99 to 100% UV protection.

Stay in the shade when possible between 10:00 A.M. and 3:00 P.M.

Slip, Slop, Slap! Slip on clothing to protect your skin, Slop on sunscreen, and Slap on a hat!

Dr. Cory: When a bee stings you, why does the bee die?

Richard Lai Kearny, New Jersey

Dear Richard:

The stinger of a bee has a barbed or jagged edge. When a bee stings, the barbed edge gets caught in the skin. As the bee pulls away, the stinger is left behind. This leaves a hole in the bee's abdomen, causing the bee to die.

If you are stung by a bee, try to get the stinger out right away. The longer it is left in, the more venom the stinger can pump into the skin and the stronger the reaction can be. The stinger can be removed with whatever is handy--including fingernails, tweezers, or something stiff, like a credit card.


Cory SerVaas, M.D.

Most bee stings occur during July and August. To protect from being stung:

* Wear shoes when you're outside!

* Avoid wearing perfumes, colognes, and other sweet-smelling fragrances.

* If you accidentally disturb a nest and the bees swarm, run! According to experts, bees are relatively slow, and even adults can often outrun them.

* Keep foods and drinks covered outdoors. Before drinking, check the inside of soft-drink cans to avoid a bee sting in the mouth or throat.

* Avoid bright colors and bold or flowered clothing.

* If you are allergic to bee stings or have a family history of this problem, check with your doctor about a prescription bee-sting kit, such as the EpiPen. It contains adrenaline, which can be given in an emergency.

Send your health questions to: "Ask Doctor Cory," U*S*Kids, RO. Box 567, Indianapolis, IN 46206. This column does not replace your doctor's advice.
COPYRIGHT 1999 Children's Better Health Institute
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1999 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:SerVaas, Cory
Publication:U.S. Kids
Date:Jun 1, 1999
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