Summer is here and everyone is going outside and and to the beach/pool/park. For many people, they forget to put on sunscreen before stepping outside. According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), skin cancer is undoubtedly the most common form of cancer in the US, affecting one in five Americans throughout the course of their lifetime. Regardless, the good news is that you can take action to significantly lower your risk. By actively incorporating these 4 tips into your daily routine, you can enjoy a safe and fun summer with your friends, family and loved ones.
Practicing Sun Safety
- Wear sunscreen – Look for sunscreens that have at least SPF 30 and are not expired or were previously exposed to high temperatures. Apply generously on all exposed areas of the skin before you go outside and remember to reapply every two hours if you are staying outside (even under shade) or right after if you are planning on swimming or going in the water.
- Wear protective clothing – To minimize sun exposure, wear a wide tightly woven brimmed hat (visors and baseball hats are less protective), sunglasses (preferably that protect against UVA and UVB rays), and dark tightly woven clothing that cover your arms and legs.
- Find shade – If possible, try to find protection during peak hours (10 am-3 pm) even on a cloudy day to reduce the risk of sunburns and serious skin damage.
- Avoid tanning beds – In addition to the sun exposure, being exposed under UV light that are used in tanning beds contribute greatly to the risk of skin cancer.
Although you may not practice these tips all the time, the important thing to remember is that any kind of protection is better than no protection at all.
- Skin Cancer. American Academy of Dermatology, https://www.aad.org/media/stats/conditions/skin-cancer.
- Sun Safety. Centers for Disease Prevention and Control, 13 Jun. 2017. https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/skin/basic_info/sun-safety.htm. \
- Skin Cancer Prevention and Early Detection. American Cancer Society, https://www.cancer.org/cancer/skin-cancer/prevention-and-early-detection.html.
- Prevention. Mayo Clinic, 10 Jun. 2015, http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/skin-cancer/basics/prevention/con-20031606.