By Lauren Pastrana

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) — May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month and living in sunny South Florida where the perfect tan can quickly border on a bad sunburn. It’s important to keep tabs on your skin health. It is your largest organ, after all!

With over 5 million cases diagnosed in the U.S. each year, skin cancer is the most common cancer in America.

Today’s “Lauren’s List” has a few key points for prevention and detection you should keep in mind:

Notice Your Nails
You may not think your nails have anything to do with your skin, but melanoma of the nail exists. Cancer can look like a black or brown streak on your nail, and can even be mistaken for a blood blister near the nail’s base. When you get your skin checked, be sure to remove polish so the doctor can check your nails, too.

Look For Persistent Pimples
Certain types of cancer start off looking like a pimple that just doesn’t go away. Or it may go away and come back right in the same spot, and it won’t have any pus when you squeeze it. Basal or squamous cell skin cancer can also look like a scab or sore that won’t heal.

Check Your Vision
Just like you should check your nails, check your eyes, too. The second most common type of melanoma is melanoma of the eye. It can start out looking like a spot in the back of the eye, but doctors can only discover it when you get your pupils dilated.

Know Your ABCs
If you have a new mole or any that concern you, you should evaluate it for the ABCs of melanoma- Asymmetry, Border, Color, Diameter, and Evolution. Evolution is key, as a changing mole needs to be checked out immediately.

Have you had your annual skin check yet?

Tell me on Facebook or Twitter.

If you have an idea for a future list, send it to


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