MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Now that the beaches are open again, they are packed, and sunscreen is likely the last thing on most people’s minds. Some doctors say they’re afraid people canceling appointments due to fear of getting COVID from a doctor’s office will result in a rise in cancer cases in the not so distant future. Skin cancer is included, but that wouldn’t necessarily only be because of people skipping appointments. Everyone is so happy to be able to get out of their house, so when you head to the beach, you may not be thinking about much else.

“People are so focused on COVID that they kind of forget that their sun safety practices should be in place,” said Casey L. Daniel, Ph.D., M.P.H., USA College of Medicine.

So before you get back to the beach, make sure you have sunblock in your beach bag.

“The general guidelines that should be in place like using proper sunscreen, applying it, avoiding peak hours and things like that, those are all things that you should still be doing,” said Dr. Daniel.

Early detection is the best prevention, so watching for changes and scheduling a monthly self-skin exam following the “ABCDE rule” is still just as important as ever.

“Asymmetry, irregular borders, and colors, anything that’s an odd color or diameter, anything that’s larger than the size of a pencil head eraser then you know if something has changed or is odd,” Dr. Daniel said.

Medical experts say the smartest thing you can do is to add sunscreen to your daily routine and treat it like wearing a seatbelt. Hopefully, you wouldn’t get in a car without wearing one, so don’t walk outside without wearing sunscreen.