Summer Sun Protection Tips

Summer is my favorite season. The sun is out, the weather is hot, and the days are longer, which means more time outside playing with the kids. There are a multitude of activities to enjoy, and it’s a great way to keep kids off electronics. 

Long days in the sun, however, can lead to overexposure to the sun's dangerous ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Increased fun in the sun means an increased risk for skin cancer, the most common form of cancer in the United States. It’s estimated that 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer at some point in their lifetime, so it’s important to protect your body’s largest organ, the skin. 

When preparing for a day in the sun, you probably lather your kids in sunscreen (and hopefully yourself, too). There are many ways to help protect your skin; start with these easy tips: 

·      Never use indoor tanning beds.

·      Stay in the shade or avoid sun exposure when UV exposure risk is at its highest, especially between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.

·      Do not get sunburned. Skin cancer occurs when the genetic code or DNA of the cells are damaged.

·      Use a sunscreen with at least an SPF of 30 every day. Apply to your entire body 30 minutes before going outside and reapply every two hours.  It's important to use broad-spectrum sunscreens in order to protect against skin cancer to block both types of ultraviolet rays.

·      Cover your skin with clothing, including a broad-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses.

·      Examine your skin head-to-toe every month and see your dermatologist every year for a professional skin exam. The Phoenix Skin Medical Surgical Group shared with the Chaotic Commute a great resource to learn how to avoid Common Mistakes In Self-Diagnosing Skin Cancer.

Early diagnosis and treatment are essential to improving all skin cancer outcomes. Read my earlier article about the importance about prioritizing your own health.