From Dr. Jeffrey Smith, Dermatologist: There are many ways we are exposed to the sun during the day. It can be fun partaking in activities under the sun, but it is important to remember good skin care practices.
One in five Americans will have skin cancer during their lifetime. I encourage everyone to follow the guidelines below provided by the American Academy of Dermatology to decrease your risk for skin cancer.
- Seek shade between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. If your shadow appears shorter than you, then seek shade.
- Wear protective clothing, such as a long-sleeved shirt, pants, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses, when possible.
- Generously apply broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen, with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 30 or higher to all exposed skin. Reapply approximately every two hours, even on cloudy days and after swimming or sweating.
- Use extra caution near water, snow, and sand because they reflect and intensify the damaging rays of the sun, which can increase your chances of sunburn.
- Avoid tanning beds. Ultraviolet light from the sun and tanning beds can cause skin cancer and wrinkling. If you want to look tan, consider using a self-tanning product, but continue to use sunscreen with it.
In addition to following guidelines to help decrease your risk for skin cancer, pay attention to your skin and moles. If any of your moles match the ABCDE descriptions, you should make an appointment with a dermatologist.
The mole ABCDEs are warning signs of melanoma. Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer. When skin cancer is detected early, it can be effectively treated. Downloading and using the Body Mole Map (below) will help you track any changes.
Other resources - You may print the following documents from the American Academy of Dermatology to help you follow the guidelines: