Summer skin safety: Accessories that protect against skin cancer

July 6, 2016 | by H. Chung So

 

Sun Safety Shopping List Click the image above to download our Sun Safety Shopping List infographic

 

One of the joys of summer is basking outdoors in the warm sunshine. Whether you are spending these long summer days on the beach or at backyard barbecues, keep in mind that getting too much sun puts you at increased risk for skin cancer. 

Skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the United States, affecting over 3 million Americans each year—and it only takes 15 minutes’ exposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun to damage your skin. But you can significantly reduce your risk by using products to shield your skin from UV rays.

  1. Sunscreen – Choose one offering broad-spectrum protection with an SPF of 30 or higher.
  2. UV-blocking clothing – Wear clothing with an ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) of 15 or higher.
  3. Protective sunglasses – Pick a pair that’s clearly labeled to block UV light, the darkness and color of the lenses do not mean they will shield your eyes from the sun’s rays.
  4. Headwear – Select a hat with tightly-woven fabric and a brim of at least two inches for effective protection of your scalp and face.

Additionally, you can further reduce your risk with these sun-protective behaviors:

  1. Seek shade between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when UV rays are most intense.
  2. Reapply sunscreen regularly throughout the day.
  3.  Avoid tanning beds and sun lamps, which can be equally or more harmful than outdoor sun exposure.
  4. Watch for signs of heat stroke on your skin like redness or heat.

Lastly, if you have a suspicious mole or spot on your skin, have it evaluated by a health care professional promptly.

 

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