Today (May 27th, 2011) is Don’t Fry Day hosted by the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention. With summer officially beginning, this is a perfect day to remind everyone to take precious care of their skin during the blazing summer months. Approximately 90 percent of non-melanoma skin cancers and 65 percent of melanomas are associated with exposure to UV radiation from the sun. Following these easy tips and guidelines will drastically lower your chances of developing skin cancer, and, as an added bonus, keep your skin looking beautiful for a lifetime.
- Avoid sunburns and intentional tanning. This includes exposure to the sun as well as tanning beds.
- Use sunscreen liberally and often when spending time outside. You should use a sunscreen with a minimum of 15 SPF when outside. People with fair skin and children should select a higher SPF. Choose a sunscreen that is broad spectrum and protects against both UVB and UVA radiation. Always reapply after swimming or excessive sweating, and follow the guidelines on the bottle to reapply every few hours even without activity. (Source: American Melanoma Foundation)
- Wear protective clothing, hats, and sunglasses. Traditional clothing (including bathing suits) offers less than 8 SPF when wet. Unlike sunscreen, protective clothing does not wash off. Sunscreen should still be applied to exposed areas of skin. Wide-brimmed hats will offer an additional layer or shad protection to your face, and sunglasses will protect your eyes from harmful rays.
- Protect your children! The AMF reports that 1 in 5 people will develop skin cancer during their lifetime. Childhood sunburns can definitely develop cancer-related damage into adult hood. In fact, 80% of lifetime damage occurs during childhood. Always keep your children protected. SPF 30-50 is ideal for kids and should not be reserved exclusively for the beach. Make sure that your kids are protected during sporting events, outside play time, and even recess.
- Utilize the shade whenever possible. Staying out of direct sun light can aid in preventing damaging sun burns. Trees offer a shade solution while camping or hiking. Beach umbrellas make a great option while spending time at the beach. Some umbrella materials offer more than shade. Sunbrella®, for example, offers umbrella canopies that offer 98% UV protection. This offers an outstanding level of protection that, when used with the options above, ensures that you can spend time in the sun without risking lasting skin damage.