As we mentioned in the previous post on Thursday, skin cancer is one of the more avoidable cancers because we know the primary causes. Genetics can play a role in the development of skin cancer, but exposure to UV rays is the #1 cause of skin cancer. We all know that sunscreen is important, but are you sure that you are using enough? Below are some do’s & don’ts to be sun safe and make sure that you are truly protecting your skin:
DO look for a sunscreen that is (a) Broad Spectrum (b) Water-resistant and (c) has an SPF of 30 or higher
DO apply sunscreen about 15 minutes prior to going out into the sun to allow the sunscreen to absorb into the skin and form its protective barrier
DO use enough -- when applying sunscreen, the average adult should be using 1 ounce of sunscreen, that is enough to fill a shot glass.
DO remember to re-apply sunscreen every 2 hours and after getting wet from swimming (or sweating)
DON’T forget the often forgotten areas of skin that need protection too, including the backs of your hands, your ears, and your lips (for lips, of course, use a lip balm with SPF)!
DON’T stay in full sun; seek out shady areas on sunny days, especially during peak hours.
DON’T spend too much time in the sun during its peak hours of 10 AM to 2 PM
DON’T use tanning beds! Tanning beds significantly increase the risk of skin cancer (according to the FDA, tanning beds increase the risk by 55%!). While skin cancer had previously been mainly common to men ages 50 and older, the number of women in their 20s-30s with skin cancer is increasing every year; this is largely due to tanning & tanning bed use starting in their teens. (Find out more about the dangers of tanning here)
DON’T forget to teach the kids in your life about being safe in the sun! Currently, 1 in 5 Americans will get skin cancer in their lifetime – let’s change this for future generations! For some fun materials to teach kids about sun safety, click here for Sun Safety Activities and here for a "How do Animals Protect their skin?" flyer.
**Also, this month, while supplies last, we are giving out wristbands that change colors when exposed to UV light to help you be aware of the power of the sun’s rays! If you have an appointment this month, ask for one at the front desk!**