Summer is almost here! It’s a popular time of year for outdoor activities like going to the beach, hiking and swimming. Most people restock their supply of sunscreen at the start of summer so they can avoid the discomfort of sunburned skin. However, protecting your skin from the harmful effects of UVA and UVB rays is important year-round. Ultraviolet rays from the sun are equally dangerous on sunny days as they are on cloudy or hazy days. Using a sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher, and reapplying throughout the day, is one of the best ways to lower your risk of skin cancer.
Tips to lower your risk of skin cancer
Here is a list of recommendations for protecting your skin from melanoma, skin cancer and burning:
- Seek shade
Stay in the shade between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. when ultraviolet rays are the strongest. This is especially true in late spring and early summer because UV radiation is the strongest (in North America) during these times.
- Stay covered
If you’re planning to be outdoors for the better part of a day, plan on wearing clothes that cover your arms and legs to limit your skin’s exposure to the sun. Your head and face are vulnerable to the harmful effects of UV rays, so be sure to wear a wide-brimmed hat that provides shade for your face, head, ears and neck. Sunscreen and sunglasses that provide UV protection are highly recommended for those with lighter eyes because they have lower amounts of protective melanin pigments throughout their bodies.
- Choose the right sunscreen
When shopping for a sunscreen, select one with broad-spectrum protection. This type of sunscreen protects against both UVA and UVB rays. All sunscreen products protect against UVB rays, which are the main cause of sunburn. However, UVA rays contribute to premature aging and skin cancer, so it’s important to make sure you’re protected from both.
To learn more about Regional Cancer Care Associates’ Central Jersey Division and how we combine our expertise and passion to help protect your skin, schedule an appointment today. We are dedicated to your health and wellness.