every day. In total, skin cancers affect more than 3 million Americans each year. With skin cancer the most common type of cancer, what can you do to protect your skin? Our team at AFC Urgent Care Cleveland would like to share some tips.
What Does the Sun Do to Skin?Well, in short, it’s not good for it! The sun emits ultraviolet rays known as ultraviolet A and ultraviolet B rays. While the two types work a little differently, they both cause damage to the skin and can greatly increase your risk of developing skin cancer. While you might think this damage can only occur when the sun is shining bright, you may be surprised to note that UVA rays can actually make it through to earth even on cloudy days. That just emphasizes why it’s important to wear sunscreen year-round.
Harm the Sun Can Cause
- Signs of aging, like wrinkles
- Skin spots and discoloration
- Heat stroke
- Heat rash
- Increased risk of skin cancer
Is Sunscreen Enough to Protect Me?While sunscreen is your best defense against skin cancer, it should not be your only one. Choose a sunscreen that’s labeled “broad spectrum,” with an SPF of at least 30. Apply the sunscreen 30 minutes or so before going outdoors, and don’t forget to reapply at least every two hours you’re outdoors. Reapply more often if you’re sweating or swimming. You should also take other steps to protect your skin.
Sun Safety Basics
- Seek shade whenever it’s possible while outside.
- Avoid spending time outside in the heat of the day, between around 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
- Find and wear a lip balm containing SPF.
- Protect your scalp, neck, nose and ears with a wide-brimmed hat.
- Whenever possible, wear light, long-sleeved clothing for extra protection.