Summer is in full swing, and you may be spending a lot more time outside. But did you know that skin cancer, which is often caused by the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays, is not only the most common type of cancer but also the most preventable? Children under 18 who practice sun safety can reduce their chances of getting some skin cancers by up to 78 percent. With July being UV Safety Awareness Month, here are four tips to protect your skin this summer.
- Use sunscreen. It may sound obvious, but it’s worth repeating. The American Cancer Society recommends one ounce of sunscreen applied to the skin at least every two hours and more frequently if you go swimming. Also, be sure to check the label: It should be broad-spectrum, water-resistant and unexpired.
- Wear long-sleeved clothing. Covering up your arms and legs, particularly with dark, tightly woven fabrics, is one of the best ways to protect your skin. You can even ﬁnd specially designed sun protective clothing with a UV protection factor between 15 and 50-plus.
- Wear a hat. You may be good about slathering your skin with sunscreen, but what about your head? Whether your have hair or not, your scalp isn’t immune to the sun’s harmful rays. Donning a wide-brimmed hat is an effective way to protect your dome, nose, ears and cheeks. Wearing large sunglasses with a UV rating of 100 percent adds more protection.
- Find shade. Setting up your picnic blanket under a big tree or your beach chair under an umbrella will greatly decrease your sun exposure. Note that UV rays are at their strongest during the hours of 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and you can be affected on cloudy days, in cold weather, behind a window and even underwater.