Follow these guidelines to reduce your risk of sun exposure, skin cancer and photo-aging.
- Seek shade. Between 10 a.m – 2 p.m. If your shadow is shorter than you are, seek shade.
- Protect your skin with clothing. Wear a long-sleeved shirt, pants, wide-brimmed hat (3” or more) and UV-blocking sunglasses.
- Do not burn.
- Avoid tanning and UV tanning beds. If you want to look tan, consider self-tanners, but continue to use sunscreen. Don’t use tanning beds. Like the sun, UV light from tanning beds can cause wrinkling and age spots and lead to skin cancer.
- Use a broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen. Even on cloudy days, apply sunscreen to all skin not covered by clothing. Reapply every two hours or after swimming or sweating. Use a broad-spectrum (UVA/UVB), water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of 30.
- Keep newborns out of the sun. Sunscreens should be used on babies over the age of six months.
- Examine your skin. Head-to-toe every month.
- Use extra caution near grass, water, sand or snow. Surfaces reflect and intensify damaging rays and can increase your chances of sunburn.
- Get Vitamin D safely. Eat a healthy diet that includes foods naturally rich in vitamin D or take vitamin D supplements. Do not seek the sun.
- Check your skin for signs of skin cancer. See your doctor annually for a professional skin exam.
Sources: The Skin Cancer Foundation and The American Academy of Dermatology