With the warm months fast approaching, millions of Americans will soon be replacing their sweater and slacks with shorts and tank tops. They will also be participating in more outdoor activities such as going to the beach, playing outdoor sports or simply soaking up the sun.
As the temperatures start to climb over the next couple weeks, it is important to brush up on some sun safety tips that could drastically improve the quality of one’s life.
According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime. Over the past three decades, more people have had skin cancer than all other cancers combined.
Many cases of skin cancer go undiagnosed, leading to aggressive treatment and premature death. Americans should understand their risk factors and ensure they have proper health and life insurance coverage in the event of developing skin cancer.
Fortunately, it is one of the more preventable forms of cancers as taking proper precautionary steps can drastically cut down one’s chance of developing skin cancer. The following tips should serve a guide to protect you and your family during these upcoming months.
Use sunscreen every day, regardless of the weather. Even if it is cloudy, your body is still exposed to sun’s UV rays. When selecting a brand of sunscreen, make sure that it protects against UVA and UVB radiation, is water and sweat resistant, and has a SPF of 30 or higher.
Sunscreen should be applied every two hours or more often depending on your activity level. As a rule thumb, one ounce of sunscreen should be enough to cover your entire body.
Do not use sunscreen if it has expired.
If you have children under the age of six months, make sure they are completely covered and limit their sun exposure as their skin is still developing. Overexposure to the sun at this age could have harmful long-term effects.
If you are taking any medication that may make your skin more sensitive to the sun, take extra precautions and limit your exposure to the sun. These medications include but are not limited to certain types of antibodies, anti-fungals, birth control pills, chemo-therapies, blood pressure medications and anti- inflammatory drugs. Consult with your doctor if you take any of the above medications.
Finally, early detection is key when it comes to skin cancer. It is recommended to examine oneself through the year in front of a full-length mirror to help identify any abnormalities. For tough to see spots, seek assistance from a family member or friend. If you see anything that looks out of the ordinary, seek medical guidance as soon as possible.