|Many of us enjoy getting a little sun. The warmth and light is relaxing and can boost our spirits as well as our Vitamin D level. However, the benefits come with risks if you’re not cautious. Each year more than 3.5 million cases of skin cancer are diagnosed in the United States. Practice safe sun exposure by following these rules:|
- Seek the shade between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. — this is when the sun’s rays are strongest. Find a tree or carry an umbrella.
- Cover up — wear clothing, a sun hat and UV-blocking sunglasses for extra protection.
- Wear sunscreen — preferably with an SPF of 30 or higher. Apply one ounce to your entire body 30 minutes before going outside and reapply often. Look for “broad spectrum” or “multi-spectrum” on the label. This indicates the sunscreen guards against UVA and UVB rays, which can damage your skin in different ways.
- Keep infants out of direct sunlight — babies are especially susceptible to the sun’s damaging effects. Make sure they are covered up with clothing, hats/bonnets and umbrellas.
- Avoid tanning and UV tanning booths – even occasional sunbed use nearly triples your chances of developing melanoma. Young people, including teenagers, are especially sensitive to this UVR emitted from tanning booths.
- Examine your skin once every month — in a full-length mirror check your skin head-to-toe each month. Look for any skin changes. See your health care provider every year for a professional skin cancer exam — also ask your children’s provider to examine their skin at annual check-ups.