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What should I know about using sunscreen if I have an atypical mole?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Using sunscreen regularly is a must for everyone, but it's especially important if you have one or more atypical moles. An atypical mole is a tan or brown skin growth that is usually no more than half an inch in diameter. Unlike common moles, which are round, atypical moles have irregular shapes. Having atypical moles increases a person's risk for melanoma, a type of skin cancer.

If you have atypical moles, apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher whenever you plan to be outdoors. Try to avoid direct sunlight from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. You also should wear wide-brimmed hats and protective clothing. Your doctor will suggest that you monitor your atypical moles closely and promptly report any changes in shape or size.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.