Be Safe in the Sun
Everyone is excited for the winter frost to melt away, so they can enjoy spring and summer by participating in outdoor activities and hitting the beach. However, it is important to practice these safe sun tips to help you and your loved ones avoid developing dangerous skin diseases like melanoma.
Stay out of the sun as much as possible.
The sun emits ultraviolet (UV) radiation that damages skin cells, making them more likely to become cancerous. Staying out of the sun during the peak hours of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. when UV rays are most intense can decrease your risk for skin damage and cancer.
Always wear sunscreen.
Wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen year-round – even in the winter. Make sure your sunscreen covers UVA and UVB rays, and has an SPF of 30 or higher. Reapply sunscreen generously every two hours if you are in the sun or after swimming. And the ingredients in sunscreen break down over time, so be sure to purchase new bottles each summer.
Avoid tanning salons.
Stay out of tanning salons and artificial tanning devices that use UV rays. They damage your skin as much as the sun does.
Your eyes are vulnerable to the sun’s damaging rays, so protect them with UV-blocking sunglasses when you’re outdoors.
Check your body for skin changes.
Become familiar with the moles on your body. Check your skin once a month from head to toe to check for any changes or new growths on your skin.
Have an annual skin examination.
If you’ve had a lot of sun exposure, previously had skin cancer, or have a family history of skin cancer, it is essential to visit your doctor and have an annual skin exam. Just have your doctor check your skin during your regular physical examination.
Know the facts about melanoma.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. Malignant melanoma is the most deadly of skin cancers. If it is not removed at an early stage, it can spread rapidly to other parts of the body. Be smart about your sun exposure to avoid risk.
Source: American Cancer Society: www.cancer.org/docroot/PED/content/ped_7_1x_Protect_Your_Skin_From_UV.asp?sitearea=PED
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