Summer is Here: Tips to stay safe in the sun

Lately, the sun feels like it is getting closer and closer to Earth and the temperature is rising at an alarming rate. With the sun being more potent, most people stay inside or stay in the shade while outside. Even though the summer is almost over, the heat is not going away any time soon. To help those who are still struggling, here are some advices to help you avoid the sun’s harmful rays.
Tip #1- SPF Everything!

The first line of defense against any sun damage is sunscreen because our skin is the first thing that the sun hits. Today, you can find all sorts of products that have SPF in it: lotions, lip balm, makeup, and even clothes. Just because you apply it once doesn’t mean that you are done, the rule of thumb is that you are supposed to reapply sunscreen every two hours. Olive oil also helped me in my time of need. It helps alleviate dryness.
Tip #2- Plan your outings wisely
Most weathermen and weather women will give the viewer the high and low temperatures and even the UV index for the day, but it’s important to find out when the sun will be at its highest and its hottest. It’s a common misconception that at noon the sun is at its hottest, which is not true. If you look at most weather charts, it will show that the sun is hottest between the hours of 3 and 4 p.m., so I wouldn’t plan on setting up a beach towel at that time.
Tip #3- Avoid extensive sun exposure
You may not realize it, but when you do certain activities, you are getting more sun than you want— and not in a good way. Take for example going to an amusement park. You wait on line for hours not thinking about all that time you spend in the sun. The more time you spend in the sun unprotected by shade, the higher risk of sunburn, which I can tell you from personal experience, is not fun.
At the end of the day protecting yourself and your loved ones is the most important thing. So go out there and enjoy the Summer— just remember the sunscreen.
Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the U.S. In fact, it is probably more common than you think. Did you know that 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer at some point in their life? Every year, there are about 3.5 million cases of basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell skin cancer are diagnosed. It is estimated that in 2015, melanoma (a more severe type of skin cancer) will account for more than 73,000 cases of skin cancer. Each year there are more new cases of skin cancer than breast, prostate, lung and colon cancer combined.
One of the biggest ways you can reduce your risk for skin cancer is to know how to stay safe in the sun. UV radiation is a proven human carcinogen. And about 90 percent of nonmelanoma skin cancers are caused by excessive sun exposure (ultraviolet radiation). It’s important to understand the severity of excessive sun exposure and how the skin damaged sustained as a result can lead to skin cancer.
First, let’s look at the risk factors that increase your chances of developing skin cancer. You are at a higher risk for skin cancer if you have fair /lighter natural skin color, moles, family history of skin cancer or a personal history of skin cancer, excessive exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light exposure from the sun, go indoor tanning, a history of sunburns, skin that burns easily, gets red easily, or becomes painful in the sun, freckles, are a male.
Skin cancer IS preventable. Here are some tips to reduce your risk for and prevent skin cancer:
⦁ Stay in the shade. This is especially important when the sun’s UV rays are the strongest (between 10am and 4pm).
⦁ Use sunscreen daily. Not just any sunscreen, but a broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 or higher daily. Re-apply every two hours. Use a higher, water-resistant SPF if you plan to be outside for a long time.

⦁ Wear protective clothing. Wear a large hat and UV-blocking sunglasses.

⦁ Avoid indoor tanning beds. Going indoor UV tanning just one time increases your risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma by 67 percent and basal cell carcinoma by 29 percent. Also, more people develop skin cancer due to tanning than develop lung cancer due to smoking.

⦁ Self-examine your skin. Check out your skin once a month to monitor for any changes.

⦁ Get an annual skin exam.

by David Samadi, MD – Medical Contributor

Source: Skin Cancer Foundation, American Cancer Society


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July 2017
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