At Vitality, we’re all about encouraging people to be active and enjoy outdoor activities. However, it’s important to take precautions when they are out in the sun. Summer is the perfect opportunity to raise awareness about and offer practical recommendations on how people can avoid skin cancer.
Nationwide, skin cancer is the most common form of cancer. Though most forms of the cancer are non-melanoma and can be treated, in 2019, more than 190,000 people will be diagnosed in the United States with the most dangerous form, melanoma, and 7,000 will die, according to SkinCancer.org.
The best way to reduce your risk of skin cancer is to reduce your UV exposure. During Skin Cancer Awareness Month, the American Academy of Dermatology is asking, “Do You Use Protection?” and encourages everyone to practice safe sun exposure every time they are outdoors.
Here’s a list of practical prevention steps from the Skin Cancer Foundation:
- Seek the shade, especially between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
- Don’t get sunburned.
- Avoid tanning, and never use UV tanning beds.
- Cover up with clothing, including a broad-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses.
- Use a broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher every day. For extended outdoor activity, use a water-resistant, broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
- Apply 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) of sunscreen to your entire body 30 minutes before going outside. Reapply every two hours or after swimming or excessive sweating.
- Keep newborns out of the sun. Sunscreens should be used on babies over the age of six months.
- Examine your skin head-to-toe every month.
- See a dermatologist at least once a year for a professional skin exam.
If you have questions about how to protect your skin or choose a sunscreen, talk with a board-certified dermatologist.
We hope everyone has fun in the sun while being thoughtful about ways to decrease the risk of skin cancer.