Submitted by Stephenie Lee
It is getting warmer outside and everyone is anxious to get out and soak up some rays. What a great feeling it is to have the sun shining on you. When outside swimming, jogging, gardening, or just playing around, be sure your skin is well protected.
Cloudy days are when people are at most risk of sunburn because they feel that sunscreen is not necessary. The Skin Cancer Foundation reports that up to 80% of the sun’s UV rays pass through clouds making it just as easy to sunburn on overcast days.
Take these steps recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation to protect your skin and prevent skin cancer:
• Seek the shade, especially between 10 AM and 4 PM.
• Don’t get sunburned. The risk of melanoma doubles if you have more than 5 sunburns over the course of a lifetime.
• Avoid tanning and never use UV tanning beds.
• Cover up with clothing, including a broad-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses.
• Use a broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher every day. For extended outdoor activity, use a water-resistant, broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
• Apply 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) of sunscreen to your entire body 30 minutes before going outside. Reapply every two hours or after swimming or excessive sweating.
• Keep newborns out of the sun. Sunscreens should be used on babies over the age of six months.
• Examine your skin head-to-toe every month.
• See a dermatologist at least once a year for a professional skin exam.
• Be cautious when taking NSAIDS such as Aspirin, Ibuprofen, and Naproxen. They make you extra –sensitive to the sun so take special care if using these medications while being out in the sun.
Be sure to visit the website www.skincancer.org
for more information relating to skin cancer and ways to prevent and detect it.