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Preventing Skin Cancer: Sun Safety Tips

Published on March 18, 2024
Beautiful Young woman with sun cream on face

Skin cancer is one of the most common types of cancer worldwide. We are immediately at risk from too much exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation or other sources like tanning beds. However, it is also one of the most preventable cancers, thanks to skin protection habits and products available to us today. In this blog post, we offer practical sun safety tips to help protect you and your loved ones from the dangers of skin cancer.

Avoid Sun Exposure From 10 AM to 4 PM

The sun emits the strongest UV radiation between 10 AM and 4 PM. During these hours, the risk of UV damage is significantly higher. 

If possible, stay indoors or seek shade if you must be outside. Planning outdoor activities for early morning or late afternoon can greatly reduce your exposure to harmful UV rays. 

Remember, UV rays can penetrate clouds and reflect off surfaces like water, sand, and concrete, increasing your risk of sunburn and skin damage even on cloudy days.

Cover Up With Clothing

One of the simplest ways to protect your skin from the sun is to cover it with clothing. Wearing long sleeves, pants, or a skirt can shield your skin from direct sun exposure. 

Fabrics with a tight weave offer better protection, as they allow less UV light to pass through. Darker colors may also provide more UV protection than lighter ones. 

Some clothing is specifically designed with UV-protective fabrics, offering an extra layer of safety. Don’t forget to protect your head and eyes with a wide-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses, respectively.

Use the Correct Sunscreen

Choosing and correctly using sunscreen can significantly reduce your risk of skin cancer. Look for a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays, with an SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of 30 or higher. Those who spend longer hours in the water or sweat excessively should use water-resistant sunscreens instead.

It’s important to apply sunscreen generously to all exposed skin, including often-missed areas like the tops of the feet, the neck, and the ears. Sunscreen should be applied 15 to 30 minutes before going outdoors and reapplied every two hours, or more frequently if swimming or sweating.

For people with sensitive skin, sunscreens with physical blockers like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide are less likely to irritate. Keep in mind that no sunscreen can block 100% of UV rays, so using it in combination with other protective measures is a must.

Use a Lip Balm

Your lips are vulnerable to UV damage, too. Many people forget to protect their lips, but they require just as much protection as the rest of your skin. 

Use a lip balm with an SPF of 30 or higher to shield your lips from the sun’s harmful rays. Reapply it as you would your sunscreen, especially after eating or drinking.

Contact Us to Learn More

Protecting your skin from UV damage is the first step in preventing skin cancer. To continue and progress your journey in skin cancer prevention, you should also take regular skin examinations, both self-exams and professional checkups. This helps detect skin cancer as early as possible, which improves treatment outcomes.

If you have questions about sun safety, skin health, or skin cancer prevention, don’t hesitate to reach out. Our team is dedicated to providing you with the information and resources you need to keep your skin healthy and cancer-free. 

Contact us to learn more about protecting yourself and your loved ones from the risks of UV exposure and skin cancer. Understanding the importance of avoiding peak sun hours, covering up with protective clothing, using the right sunscreen, and not forgetting lip protection, can let you sit back and enjoy the outdoors while keeping your skin healthy and safe. 

Out of Town? Visit Monterey for Your Next Surgery

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