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Tyler’s dermatologist uses his personal experience with melanoma to help promote skin protection

TYLER, Texas (KLTV) — As the weather warms up, the East Texans are looking to get that first tan of the season. An East Texas dermatologist says May is when she sees the worst sunburn of the year, whether it’s the result of people forgetting skin protection on that first trip to the pool or people working on a base tan.

“And that just builds your tolerance to cancer so you can add more carcinogens on top of that,” US Dermatology Partners-certified dermatologist Dr. Jenni Holman told Tyler.

Before Holman was a doctor, she was a normal college student striving to get the best tan.

“I had two tanning bed memberships because they only let you go once a day with your membership,” she said. “So I had two. I would go in the morning and again in the afternoon. It was kind of my time for me.

All that time in the tanning bed would result in Holman being diagnosed with early-stage melanoma and the surgical removal of a spot on his leg.

Jenni Holman said she used tanning beds twice a day in college.(Courtesy picture)

Holman says a single tanning session can increase the risk of developing melanoma by 75% before the age of 35. She now uses her own personal experience to help East Texans protect their skin.

“The kind of common sense things you always think about: physical protection, hats, sunglasses, long sleeves when appropriate,” she said. “Also avoid peak times of the day between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. when you can, stay in the shade when you can, and also reapply your sunscreen.”

And when it comes to sunscreen, Holman says protection is usually around SPF 30.

“Where I see people missing the boat is they take an SPF of 100 and think they’re good all day,” she said. “Water resistant sunscreens are usually only good for about 75-90 minutes. So whatever the number, which should be at least 30 and broad-spectrum, which means you’re protected at against both UVA and UVB rays, but which you then reapply specially for in the water approximately every 90 minutes.

And when it comes to spotting potential melanoma spots, Holman reminds people of the ABCDEs of melanoma (asymmetry, border, color, diameter, and course). If you find anything concerning, contact your doctor.

“Don’t wait to get an appointment, get it checked out. We’d always rather say there’s no need to worry than let something go on too long when things can actually cause you significant health issues.

Holman also busted the base tan myth. She likened it to smoking 10 cigarettes a day, so you can go on vacation and smoke 20 a day. She said the safest option is to get your tan from a bottle or spray.

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