top of page

Spotting Skin Cancer/Melanoma Early-Memphis Dermatologist

by George Woodbury Jr. M.D., Board-certified Dermatologist at Rheumatology and Dermatology, 05/15/2022

Dermatologist George Woodbury examining moles on a young man who enjoys outdoors sports.

The number of cases of both Melanoma and Skin Cancer continues to rise, so Board-certified Memphis Dermatologists like myself aim to raise awareness:

* who’s at risk,

*how to prevent Melanoma and Skin Cancer,

*how to spot Melanoma and Skin Cancer early,

*and improvements in Dermatologic Surgery treatments, including Mohs Surgery.

First, who’s at risk of Melanoma and Skin Cancer? But this is really a kind of trick question! What I should ask is, “who’s at ESPECIALLY high risk, because we’re ALL at risk of Melanoma and Skin Cancer.

The traditional “especially high risk” people for the development of Melanoma and Skin Cancer include;

*Red-heads and blonde individuals, but in reality most cases occur in those with brown, black, or gray-haired individuals, because there are a lot more brunettes out there.

*People with scotch-Irish, English, German, or Scandinavian ancestry, but remember that the famous Afro-Caribbean Reggae musician Bob Marley died of Melanoma at the age of 35, a spot that originated on his foot.

*People who tend to burn or peel in the sun, especially those with a history of blistering sunburns.

*People who have worked in or played in the sun; or those who have lived in Sunbelt states like Florida, Tennessee, and Arizona, including golfers, cyclists, skiers, sailors, and tennis players.

*People who have used ultraviolet lights (UV rays) at tanning salons. See a movie sponsored by my Cordova Dermatology practice: YouTube: “Understanding the Melanoma Crisis: Scarlet’s Story.” It tells the story of Scarlet, a student studying to be a teacher at Ole Miss who found out while seven months pregnant that she had metastatic Melanoma.

Secondly, the best moves in prevention of Melanoma and Skin Cancer include:

*Avoidance of midday sun, between 9:00 AM and 4:00 PM.

*Proper use of “broad-spectrum sunscreen” protecting against both traditional UVB rays but also “newly-appreciated-as-also dangerous” UVA rays. Look for an SPF or Sun Protection Factor of 30 or higher.

A personal favorite sunscreen, less likely to run into one’s eyes, is Vanicream Sunscreen Sport SPF 50, now available through Big River Silk Skincare (, an organic and natural skincare products manufacturer and distributor of which I have been president since 2016 (3.5 oz=$17.95)


It’s a wise move to wear sun-protective clothing when out. Blue, black, or orange Rayon-base, Nylon-based, or Cotton-based fabrics seem most helpful, particularly after they have been laundered several times.

Remember to reapply your sunscreen, for both yourself and your children, every 90 minutes when out. And it takes about 2 ounces to adequately cover a full-sized adult.