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Hale County Hospital’s: Hospital Corner

Part of the mission of Hale County Hospital is to improve the health and quality of life of the residents of Hale County and surrounding communities. Whether you or your family needs care from our award winning outpatient clinics (with locations in Greensboro and Moundville), our inpatient and outpatient physical therapy and rehab teams, our 5 star rated home health team, our emergency room, laboratory, and radiology departments, or in our beautifully remodeled hospital East Wing that provides inpatient care, 21 day rehab, and hospice care, Hale County Hospital is your hometown center for healthcare excellence in West Alabama.

Summer is here which means the hot and humid days of Alabama are upon us. This also means the days are longer and we are exposed to more sunlight throughout the day. While sunlight is a great source of vitamin D, reduces stress, and uplifts our mood, the sun is a source of harmful ultraviolet (UV) light, one of the leading causes of skin cancer. July is UV Awareness Month, and Hale County Hospital wants to inform the community of the signs and preventative measures that can be taken to lower the risk of skin cancer. To protect yourself from the sun, the best things you can do are to wear sunscreen everyday, especially on areas of your skin exposed to the sun. The higher the skin protection factor (SPF), the better. You can also wear sunglasses that protect your eyes and try to remain in the shade as much as you can, whether it is remaining under trees, an umbrella, or roof.

It’s also important to check your skin periodically for moles that do not appear normal. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using the “ABCDE Rule” to assess moles that could potentially be melanoma, a form of skin cancer.

-A is for Asymmetry. Is the mole uneven in shape? Most moles are round or circular in shape. If one half of the mole looks different from the other, this could be a sign of skin cancer.

-B is for Border. Is the border of the mole uneven, irregular, or poorly defined? Moles can be flat or raised, but they usually have a smooth border.

-C is for Color. Does the mole vary in color? Moles on your body should be about the same color. If there are differing colors of tan, brown, black or even areas of red, white, or blue, this is a point of concern.

-D is for Diameter. Is the mole bigger than 6 mm in size? This is about the size of a pencil eraser.

-E is for Evolving. Has the mole changed in shape, size, or color over the last few months?

If a mole on your skin meets any of these criteria, schedule an appointment with the Hale County Hospital Clinic to receive a further evaluation and screening. Enjoy the summer weather, but remember to protect your skin!