Play it Safe in the Sun

With the summer upon us it’s a good time to review safety in the sun.  June was National Skin Cancer Awareness Month, but it’s never too late to start to protect your skin from the sun and its potentially harmful ultraviolet radiation.

Though the skin is our largest organ, it is often overlooked when we consider keeping healthy.  Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States and while skin cancers, particularly melanomas can be more aggressive, cancers of the skin are highly curable when detected early.  The most common forms of skin cancer rarely spread and can usually be treated successfully.  Still, the best medicine is prevention.

Protect Yourself from the Sun

Here are some quick tips for protecting yourself from the sun:

  1. Seek shade, especially during midday hours (10am – 4pm) when the sun’s rays are strongest and the most potentially damaging.
  2. Cover up with clothing instead of leaving skin exposed.
  3. Wear a hat with a wide brim to shade your face, nose, head (scalp), ears, and neck.
  4. Grab sunglasses that wrap, providing the most coverage, and as close to 100%  UVA and UVB protection as possible.
  5. Apply sunscreen early and often.  Remember that sunscreen should absorb before exposure, so plan ahead, especially before going swimming.  Read labels and aim for UVA and UVB protection.

For the best possible protection, combine some of the tips above.  Enjoy your sunny, summer activities and stay healthy.  For more information, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website.

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