Skin Cancer Awareness

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If you didn’t already know, May is National Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention month. So with warmer weather right around the corner, now is the perfect time to read up on the dos and don’ts of summertime skin protection. Extended daytime hours and family vacations mean more time in the sun that many of us normally are used to, especially during the middle of the day when the sun is at its most intense. So before you hit the beach or the pool or wherever your preferred spot in the sun may be, refresh yourself with these skin cancer prevention and detection tips.

Best Ways To Prevent Skin Cancer

Short of never stepping foot outside (which would deprive the body of much-needed vitamin D), what you wear is key to increasing your protection from the sun’s harmful UV rays. A wide brim hat is ideal for protecting your shoulders, ears, neck, and head from sun damage. You don’t exactly need a sombrero, but something with a 3-inch brim should be at the top of your list.

Also, some good-quality sunglasses are worth the money, and ensure the lenses block 100% of UV rays from getting to your eyes. A wrap-around style frame is even better because your temples will be protected, as well. And of course your clothing is something to consider if you’re planning to spend the day in the sun. Long sleeved shirts are optimal, especially if they have a tight-weave or, better yet, are infused with SPF protection. Keep in mind darker colors are better at stopping UV rays than lighter colors are, too.

Of course, don’t forget your sunscreen (even if it’s cloudy)! Use what are known as broad spectrum formulations that guard against both UVA and UVB rays, and have a SPF rating of at least 15 (a higher number means more protection).  Don’t forget to reapply it every two hours and also after you’ve been swimming or perspiring. And, as always, find yourself some shade if you can! Not only is it cooler there, you’re even more protected from the sun.

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