Did you know that the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can damage your skin in as little as 15 minutes? And although some people are at higher risk of getting skin cancer, anyone can get it. People with greater risk include those with lighter natural skin color, skin that burns, freckles, or reddens easily, blue or green eyes, blond or red hair, certain types and large number of moles, family or personal history of skin cancer, and older age. Regardless if you are at high risk or not, reducing your exposure to UV rays and taking proper precautions can help keep your skin healthy and lower your chances of getting skin cancer.
· Sunscreen – Apply sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher before you go outside, even on cloudy or cool days. Reapply every two hours if you are outdoors longer than that and make sure your sunscreen is not expired.
· Shade – You can reduce risk of skin damage by seeking shade under an umbrella, tree, or other shelter. Even in the shade, make sure to wear sunscreen and protective clothing.
· Clothing – When possible, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants and skirts to protect from UV rays. Also, to protect your face, ears, and neck wear a wide brimmed hat with tightly woven fabric.
· Sunglasses – Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes and reduce the risk of cataracts. Sunglasses also protect the skin surrounding your eyes.
Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. A change in your skin is the most common sign of skin cancer. This could be a new growth, a sore that does not heal, or a change in a mole. It is important to know that not all skin cancers look the same, so it’s important to talk to your doctor if you notice any changes in your skin. Sun-safe skin is always in! Protect your skin now to help lower your risk of skin cancer in the future.
*information provided by cdc.gov