Sunscreen is a MUST

June 20th, 2018

May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States. With over 5 million cases diagnosed each year, this disease is reaching epidemic levels. Skin cancer is most often caused by exposure to ultraviolet radiation from sunshine or tanning beds.  Fortunately, the disease is also one of the most preventable forms of cancer and by raising awareness of the dangers of unprotected exposure and encouraging sun-safe habits, we can change behaviors and save lives.

Prevention Tips

To lower your risk of skin cancer, protect your skin from the sun and avoid indoor tanning. Other prevention tips include:

  • Always use a broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF 15 or higher as one important part of a complete sun protection regimen.
  • 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 immediately after swimming or excessive sweating.
  • Stay in the shade, especially during late morning through mid-afternoon.
  • Do not burn.
  • Avoid tanning and UV tanning booths.
  • Wear clothing that covers your arms and legs.
  • Wear a broad-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses.
  • Keep newborns out of the sun. Sunscreens should be used on babies over the age of six months.
  • See your physician every year for a professional skin exam.
  • Examine your skin head-to-toe every month

It is important to raise awareness by sharing these prevention tips and by sharing educational content with family, friends, and colleagues about risk factors, symptoms, and the different types of skin cancer. Learn about the warnings signs of skin cancer and what to look for during a self-examination. If you are unsure or have questions, please see your doctor immediately. Skin cancers found and removed early are almost always curable.

Visit the Centers for Disease and Control (CDC) for sun safety and other skin cancer prevention tips and share them with your friends and family.