With the summer months approaching, we can begin to look forward to sunny days spent enjoying the warm weather. Whether you prefer to spend your time outdoors lounging by the pool, soaking up the sun at the beach, or exploring nature on a hike, it’s vital that you pay attention to an often hidden danger. Spending too much time in the sun without sunscreen protection can increase the risk of skin cancer, the most common type of cancer. Given that May is Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month, we wanted to share a few tips and facts that will keep you safe in the sun.
Despite the fact that skin cancer is the most common form of cancer, it is also the most treatable. However, the key to a positive prognosis is early detection and knowing what to look for to spot the initial signs of skin cancer. The Skin Cancer Foundation estimates that around 90% of nonmelanoma skin cancers and 85% of melanoma skin cancer cases are a result of exposure to the sun’s UV rays.
Tips For Staying Safe in the Sun
- Wear a sunscreen with an SPF of 30+
- Reapply sunscreen around every 2 hours, depending on activity level
- Avoid tanning beds which contain harmful UV rays
- Reduce your sun exposure during the hottest parts of the day
- Conduct a skin examination once a month
During Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month, make an effort to educate yourself and others about the realities of unprotected sun exposure. You can use the toolkit provided by the Skin Cancer Foundation to spread the word and learn more.
Conducting a self-skin examination from head to toe every month can help you identify and detect early signs of skin cancer. The multiple types of skin cancer can look different in appearance but typically begin as a bump, spot, sore, or mark. Be sure to pay close attention to if these spots change in shape, size, or color, as this can indicate melanoma or skin cancer. If you have any concerns, follow up with your dermatologist, doctor, or closest First Care location for a skin cancer screening.