Tuesday Tips: Awareness for Sun Safety

skd276277sdcThe month of May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month. Before the hot summer sun starts beat down on us, it is a great time to review the importance of sun safety.

Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer that can be found in the United States. In the course of a persons lifetime, about 1 in 5 people will develop skin cancer. The statistics may seem frightening, but skin cancer is extremely popular and the risks of obtaining the disease are high. That is why it is especially important to take care of your skin in order to decrease your risk for melanoma.

Protecting yourself from sun damage:

  • Cover your skin with hats and clothing made of dark, tightly woven fabric.
  • Wear sunscreen even if it is overcast outside. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends you wear a SPF of at least 15.
  • Make sure you slather the sunscreen on thick and apply about 20 to 3o minutes before sun exposure to let it absorb.
  • Be extra careful if you are a fair-skinned person. You have an even higher risk of burning and are at risk for serious sun damage. Try to avoid sun bathing as much as possible.
  • Stay out of tanning beds. People who tan in a bed are 74% more likely to develop melanoma.
  • Limit your sun exposure between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm. This is when the suns rays are the most intense.
  • If you are taking any medications, such as antibiotics, be VERY careful and try to limit exposure to as little as possible.
  • Wear sunglasses with 99%-100% UV protection. Your eyes will thank you and so will your optometrist. Get more information here on what type of sunglasses you should be wearing to protect yourself.

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