IRVINGTON, N.Y., April 23, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- MELA Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: MELA). (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130103/NY36051LOGO ) As part of its dedication to help reduce soaring melanoma rates in the United States, MELA Sciences, Inc. is sponsoring free MelaFind® examinations at participating dermatologist offices nationwide on May 1, the first day of Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month™. "Despite advances in sun protection education and sunscreen technology, melanoma rates continue to rise," said Dr. Joseph Gulfo, President and CEO of MELA Sciences, Inc. "Experts tells us that the key to saving lives is by catching skin cancer before it has advanced. We hope this promotion will raise awareness of the importance of annual skin cancer exams in detecting potential melanomas." MelaFind® is the first and only FDA-approved diagnostic tool that helps dermatologists detect melanoma at its most curable stage. The sophisticated device uses multi-spectral light technology to quickly, painlessly capture data about a mole's growth to help dermatologists decide whether the mole should be biopsied. Consumers can schedule free MelaFind® appointments with participating dermatologists by visiting www.melafind.com. Dr. Gulfo expects that the May 1 promotion will encourage more people to visit their dermatologist for a thorough skin examination every year, adding the visit to other annual health exams. According to a Harris survey commissioned by MELA Sciences Inc., although the majority of Americans have an annual physical exam (86%), less than one in four Americans (23%) visit a dermatologist each year for skin exams and professional mole checks. "I encourage all my patients to conduct skin self-exams regularly and come in for a professional head to toe evaluation at least once a year, or on your birthday in your birthday suit," said Dr. Glynis Ablon of the Ablon Institute in Manhattan Beach, CA, and Associate Professor UCLA. "We appreciate the support of MELA Sciences, Inc. to motivate patients to take skin checks more seriously as part of their ongoing commitment to skin cancer prevention. The advanced technology of MelaFind® allows us to increase our sensitivity in finding abnormal moles and melanoma. As the risk of pediatric melanomas is on the rise every year, the ability to detect normal versus abnormal moles in kids allows us to reduce biopsies which they really appreciate."