Preventing Skin Cancer
Relaxing in the sun may feel good. But it isn’t good for
your skin. In fact, being exposed to the sun’s harmful rays is a major
cause of skin cancer. This is a serious disease that can be
life-threatening. People of all ages and backgrounds are at risk. But in
most cases, skin cancer can be prevented.
Your Role in Prevention
You can act today to help prevent skin cancer. Start by
avoiding the sun’s UV (ultraviolet) rays. And don’t use tanning beds,
which are no safer than the sun. Taking these steps can help keep you
from getting skin cancer. It can also help prevent wrinkles and other
sun-induced aging effects. Make sure your children follow these
safeguards, too. Now is the time to start taking preventive steps
against skin cancer.
When You Are Outdoors
Protect your skin when you go outdoors during the day. Take
precautions whenever you go out to eat, run errands by car or on foot,
or do any outdoor activity. There isn’t just one easy way to protect
your skin. It’s best to follow all of these steps:
Wear clothing that covers your skin. Put on a wide-brimmed hat to protect your face, ears, and scalp.
Watch the clock. Try to avoid the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when it is strongest.
Head for the shade or create your own. Use an umbrella when sitting or strolling.
Know that the sun’s rays can reflect off sand, water, and
snow. This can harm your skin. Take extra care when you are near
Shield your skin with sunscreen. Also, apply sunscreen to your children’s skin.
Tips for Using Sunscreen
To help prevent skin cancer, choose the right sunscreen and use it correctly. Try the following tips:
Choose a sunscreen that has a sun protection factor (SPF)
of at least 15. The sunscreen should shield you from UVA and UVB
(ultraviolet A and B) rays.
If one brand irritates your skin, try another.
Reapply sunscreen every 3 to 5 hours. If you’re active, do this more often.
Cover any sun-exposed skin, from your face to your feet. Don’t forget your ears and your lips.
Know that while sunscreen helps protect you, it isn’t
enough. You should wear protective clothing, too. And try to stay out of
the sun as much as you can, especially from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
2000-2010 The StayWell Company, 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA
19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a
substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare