The weather is warming up and summer is just around the corner, which means more time outside under the sun. May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month. Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the U.S., and unprotected UV exposure is the most preventable risk factor for skin cancer.1 The Oncology Institute is sharing a few ways to enjoy the outdoors while protecting your skin from harmful UV rays.
- Stay in the shade: Protect yourself from UV rays by seeking shade or shelter especially from 10 am to 4 pm daylight saving time (9 am to 3 pm standard time) when UV rays are strongest.2
- Cover up: Wearing sun-protective clothing, a broad-brimmed hat, and UV-blocking sunglasses when outdoors will protect your face, eyes, and skin from damaging UV rays.
- Avoid using tanning beds and sunlamps: Tanning bed use has been linked with an increased risk of melanoma, especially if it is started before a person is 30.3
- Use broad-spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen: Make sure you use sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher daily. If you are going to be outdoors or enjoying a beach day, use a water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher and reapply often.
Protecting your skin from damaging effects of sun exposure today will help prevent long term skin damage and reduce your risk of skin cancer tomorrow.