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Sun Safety Awareness

The sun produces both visible and invisible rays. The invisible rays, known as ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB), cause most of the problems, including suntan, sunburn, and sun damage. There is no safe ultraviolet (UV) light, and there is no such thing as a safe tan.

How to Protect Yourself from Sun Exposure

Sun exposure is the most preventable risk factor for all skin cancers, including melanoma.1,2 You can have fun in the sun and decrease your risk of skin cancer. Here’s how to stay safe in the sun:

  • Generously apply a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or more to all exposed skin. Broad spectrum provides protection from both ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays.
  • Reapply sunscreen approximately every two hours, even on cloudy days, and after swimming or sweating. Wear protective clothing, such as a long-sleeved shirt, pants, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses, where possible.
  • Seek shade when appropriate. Remember that the sun’s rays are strongest between 10 am and 4 pm. If your shadow appears to be shorter than you are, seek shade.
  • Protect children from sun exposure. Play in the shade, use protective clothing, and apply sunscreen.
  • Use extra caution near water, snow, and sand because they reflect and intensify the damaging rays of the sun, which can increase your chances of sunburn.
  • Get vitamin D safely through a healthy diet that may include vitamin supplements.
  • Don’t seek the sun.3 Avoid tanning beds. Ultraviolet light from the sun and tanning beds can cause skin cancer and wrinkling. If you want to look like you’ve been in the sun, consider using a sunless self-tanning product, but continue to use sunscreen with it.
  • Check your birthday suit on your birthday. If you notice anything changing, growing, or bleeding on your skin, see us at Water’s Edge. Skin cancer is very treatable when caught early.
[1] American Cancer Society. 2016 Cancer Facts and Figures.[2] Robinson, JK. Sun Exposure, Sun Protection and Vitamin D. JAMA 2005; 294:1541-1543.[3] Hemminki K, Dong C. Subsequent cancers after in situ and invasive squamous cell carcinoma of the skin. Arch Dermatol 2000; 136:647-651.

 

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