Sun Protection

Welcome to the new Melanoma/Sun Protection 2022-23 Committee Members:

Hannah Lynch – New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine
Diana Olvera – New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine – Arkansas
Abigail Martinez – Albany Medical College
Julia May – University of Illinois College of Medicine
Amreen Karim – California Northstate University College of Medicine

Upcoming projects we are working on this year as a committee:

  • We are collaborating with the Melanoma Research Foundation to create a Melanoma Educator Course for Healthcare Professional Students. We hope this will be ready for you to officially take by May 2022!
  • We are working on creating education sheets in conjunction with the Education Outreach Committee. These sheets will be available on our website when they are completed and we hope they will help you on your rotations!
  • We are updating a National Volunteer Opportunities List– please go to our Volunteer tab for more opportunities!
  • State Melanoma Walk Document which contains a list of walks in each state across the USA. – Click Here
  • We will post weekly social media posts on DIGA’s Instagram for “Melanoma Mondays”. So be on the lookout for quizzes, guess the lesion, definitions, and infographics. We will also be raffling off prizes throughout the year, so be on the lookout!

National Volunteer Opportunities

We have updated our Volunteer Opportunities List on our main page! Please click here to find more listings.

  1. The Sun Bus – Volunteer Public Educator
  2. Sun Hero
  3. Melanoma Research Foundation 
    1. If anyone lives near one of MRF’s events and is interested in volunteering, they can email to be put in contact with the right people!
    2. Galas = Denver, Chicago, NYC
    3. Walks: Miles for Melanoma
  4. AAD Good Skin Knowledge
  5. AAD Spot Me
  6. AAD Camp Discovery
  7. The National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention
    1. You can get involved in a project called Skin Smart Campus and raise awareness of tanning beds by creating a UV safety web page!
  8. Camp Wonder
  9. Cicatricial Alopecia Research Foundation (CARF)
  10. IMPACT Melanoma
    1. Galas / Event Support – Shades of Hope Gala, November 12th, 2021 in Boston, MA
    2. Billy’s Buddies – volunteer’s must have had melanoma or know someone close to them diagnosed with melanoma

DIG Chapter Highlight

We want to highlight what our members and local DIG Chapters are doing in regard to Melanoma Awareness / Sun Protection! You can share what you or your local DIG chapter is up to here:

We will share the responses on our Instagram/website!

Members of NYITCOM’s DIG Chapter volunteered at the Melanoma Research Foundation – Miles for Melanoma 5K Walk/Run in NYC on Saturday September 18th! This annual event brings together local melanoma patients, survivors, care partners, supporters and healthcare workers to fundraiser and help continue the fight against melanoma.

Melanoma Research Foundation – Certified Melanoma Educator Course

If you are looking to brush up on your knowledge of melanoma or add something to your CV, then join DIGA in completing Melanoma Research Foundation’s Certified Melanoma Educator Course! Get started by clicking here.

Once you register (for free) and complete the modules + a 10 question quiz on the course website you will receive a Certificate of Completion for 2021. This course can also go under “Professional Development” on your CV! 
Information from Melanoma Research Foundation: This course was developed in 2015 to encourage the MRF’s volunteers and advocates to take their commitment to melanoma awareness and education a step further, helping them become armed and confident with accurate messages and information. Since its launch, over 1,300 volunteers have taken the course!

Skin Cancer & Sun Safety Refresher

Non-Melanotic Skin Cancers

  • Basal Cell Carcinoma – The most common type of skin cancer, commonly found on areas with high sun exposure (i.e. face, chest). Commonly seen as a pink papule – if a “pimple” is present for more than 3 weeks – it is important to get it checked out, it could be skin cancer!
  • Squamous Cell Carcinoma – the second most common form of skin cancer due to heavy sun exposure. These can appear as scaly red patches or open sores that are not healing.


  • The most aggressive and deadliest form of skin cancer. It is important that patients are aware of their skin and see a dermatologist if they notice any new or changing spots. An important mnemonic to assess a spot of concern is to use the ABCDEs: Asymmetry, Border Irregularity, Color Change, Diameter >6mm (head of a pencil eraser), Evolving.

Sun Safety Tips

  • Seek shade!
  • Especially during peak hours: 10am-2pm. If you can’t seek shade, bring an umbrella to create your own shade.
  • Wear sunscreen! Apply sunscreen to all sun exposed skin. Apply SPF 30+, broad-spectrum sunscreen, water resistant Apply 15 minutes before going outside. Reapply every 2 hours and after sweating / swimming.
  • Wear sun protective clothing! Ex. Wide brimmed hat, UV protective sunglasses, UPF clothing.

Sunscreen: Chemical v. Physical

  • Chemical Sunscreens – absorb the UV rays, acting like a sponge. They convert the UV rays into heat. These sunscreens will be easier to rub into your skin without leaving a white cast behind. Chemical sunscreens start working 20 minutes after application. Active ingredients to look for: avobenzone, octinoxate, and oxybenzone
  • Physical Sunscreens – deflects the UV rays, acting like a shield. These sunscreens are better for sensitive skin and are more moisturizing. However, they might be more difficult to blend into your skin and might feel heavier. Physical sunscreens work immediately after application. Active ingredients to look for: minerals titanium dioxide and zinc oxide
  • Both chemical and physical sunscreens will protect you equally from sun damage if used correctly. Regardless of what you choose, just make sure that the sunscreen is labeled as broad-spectrum and SPF 30 or above!