Skin Cancer Awareness Month

Did you know that every year there are about 5 million cases of skin cancer diagnosed in the United States? This makes skin cancer one of the most common form of cancers out there but it is also one of the most preventable! We can get skin cancer due to the ultraviolet radiation from the sun. We are at a higher risk if we are not using sun screen to protect our skin. There are many ways to embrace a sun-safe lifestyle by following these specific guidelines. 

  • When you are able to, seek the shade. The sun is said to be the strongest during the hours of 10am and 4pm. When you are outside, look down at your shadow. If it is shorter than your height, that means that the ultraviolet radiation is stronger at that time. 
  • Stay away from tanning booths. The UV radiation is known to cause cancer and people who use tanning booths have a higher risk of developing melanoma, squamous cell carcinoma, or basil cell carcinoma. 
  • Wear protection. The best form of protection is what you wear to protect your skin. This includes wearing a hat, sunglasses, and dense clothing. Long sleeve shirts and pants will also be your best defense. 
  • Wear sunscreen when you are out in the sun. It is a good idea to wear SPF of 15 or higher every day. For women, it's a good idea to get makeup that already has sun protection in it. When you will be outside, its best to use a sunscreen with SPF of 30 or higher. When going in the water, choose a sunscreen that is water-resistant so it will last longer. 
  • Reapply sunscreen! You should put sunscreen on every 2 hours or reapply when you go swimming or are sweating an excessive amount. Don't just apply once and think it will last you for hours on end. 
  • Examine your skin every month. It's important to perform self-exams and check for any changes in existing moles or anything that looks suspicious. If you notice a growth that wasn't there before, immediately go to your doctor. It's so important to catch it early. You should also make an appointment with your doctor every year to get a skin exam.