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Prevent skin cancer

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Follow these tips to protect your skin from the sun's damaging ultraviolet rays and reduce your risk of skin cancer:

  • Seek shade when appropriate, remembering that the sun’s rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. If your shadow is shorter than you are, seek shade.

  • Wear protective clothing, such as a lightweight long-sleeved shirt, pants, a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses, when possible.

  • Generously apply a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. Broad-spectrum sunscreen provides protection from both UVA and UVB rays. 

      • Use sunscreen whenever you are going to be outside, even on cloudy days.
      • Apply enough sunscreen to cover all exposed skin. Most adults need about 1 ounce — or enough to fill a shot glass — to fully cover their body.
    • Don’t forget to apply to the tops of your feet, your neck, your ears and the top of your head.

     

  • When outdoors, reapply sunscreen every two hours, or after swimming or sweating.

  • Use extra caution near water, snow and sand, as they reflect the damaging rays of the sun, which can increase your chance of sunburn.

  • Avoid tanning beds. Ultraviolet light from tanning beds can cause skin cancer and premature skin aging.

  • Consider using a self-tanning product if you want to look tan, but continue to use sunscreen with it.

  • Perform regular skin self-exams to detect skin cancer early, when it’s most treatable, and see a board-certified dermatologist if you notice new or suspicious spots on your skin, or anything changing, itching or bleeding.

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