Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States and the main cause of skin cancer is ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun. Due to the sunny weather and the season for sunny vacations, July was chosen to be National Sun Safety Month to help educate people about the harms of UV rays and how they can protect themselves.
UV rays can cause damage to your skin in as little as 15 minutes even if it is cloudy or cool. Check out these tips for protecting yourself and your family.
- Seek shade: Use an umbrella or a tent when you are on the beach. Trees and other shelters are great for other outdoor activities.
- Wear the right clothes: Choose clothes that are tightly woven and darker in color. These offer the best protection.
- Choose the right hat: A tightly woven fabric hat, such as canvas, will provide the most protection. Try to choose a hat with a large brim all the way around that shades your face, ears and back of your neck.
- Grab a pair of sunglasses: Sunglasses that block both UVA and UVB are the best option. For more protection, choose a pair of wrap-around sunglasses to block the UV rays that may sneak in from the side.
- Wear sunscreen: You should always wear sunscreen outside regardless of any other precautions you may take. Use a broad spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 15 and make sure to get help for those hard-to-reach places. Check out the attached article to learn how sunscreen works.
To test your sun safety knowledge take this Sun Safety Quiz.