Summer is upon us once again, and it’s time to remember to take extra daily precautions with your skin. In order to maintain the health and integrity of your skin, please remember:
Anyone can get skin cancer, regardless of their skin tone.
Over a million people are living with melanoma right now. The vast majority of melanoma cases are caused from sun exposure and sun burn.
We have compiled this list of tips to keep your skin safe this summer:
Smart Sun Exposure
- Get some sun, but don’t stay out unprotected long enough to get burned (avoid 10 a.m.-2 p.m. if you can)
- Use a broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunblock of SPF 30 or higher every day, and reapply after 2 hours or after swimming, sweating, etc. Use at least one to two ounces to cover your exposed skin fully
- Make sure your sunblock hasn’t expired! Expired sunscreens and sunblocks lose their strength and are less effective
- Find cosmetic products and contact lenses that offer UV protection. However, Never rely solely on cosmetics for sunscreen protection. There are many sunscreens available in non-greasy formulations specifically for the face. These are easy to use under cosmetics.
- Use a hat, umbrella, and sunglasses (UV-absorbing lenses) to block the sun when you have had enough
- Find shady areas to minimize exposure
- Wear ultraviolet protective factor (UPF) clothing if available
- Avoid tanning beds
- Perform skin self-exams regularly to become familiar with existing growths and to notice any changes or new growths
- Report any suspicious skin lesions to your doctor, and get periodic mole checks and skin cancer screenings
- Keep newborns out of the sun and use sunscreen on babies 6 months and older. Eighty percent of a person’s lifetime sun exposure is acquired before age 18. If you are a parent, be a good role model and foster skin protection habits in your child!
- Drink plenty of water. All of your body, including your skin, needs it, especially when you are in the sun and heat!
More more skin cancer facts, visit Skin Cancer Foundation's Facts and Statistics page.