Did you know that a whopping 80% of skin cancers are preventable? Yes, that’s right, I said 80% are preventable. As summer ends, people often put away the sunscreen and wide brimmed hats until next season. With skin cancer on the rise, that might not be your healthiest option. Protecting your skin from the sun is a year round job, no matter what the season or where you live.
Here are a few tips to help you be sun savvy all year long.
Don’t put away that wide brimmed hat or baseball cap; use them year round to keep the sun off your face and neck. Wear long sleeve shirts and long pants to protect your arms and legs.
Use Sunscreen – Every Day
Whatever the season, whatever the weather make it habit to start your day with sunscreen. Use a daily moisturizing lotion that has sunscreen included; look for a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 15 or higher.
Love The Shade
Out watching a sporting event, attending your child’s after school activity, gardening over the weekend? Find that shady spot, staying cool and sun protected at the same time. No shade? Bring an umbrella or pop up canopy.
Be Snow Prepared
Snow might be cold but it’s also reflective and can quickly magnify the sun’s rays. When skiing, playing the in the snow with your kids or shoveling the drive, be sure to wear a broad spectrum sunscreen that blocks both UVB and UVA rays and has an SPF of 30 or higher.
Ban The Tanning Bed
Year round tans are beautiful, as long as they’re fake. People who use tanning beds are 74% more likely to develop melanoma. Don’t do it, it’s not worth the risk. Self-tanning lotions and spray tans offer a safe alternative for a year round healthy glow.
Monitor Your Skin
You and your family are one of the best defenses against skin cancer. Get to know your skin, monitor moles and watch for changes. Help each other, check backs, scalps and hard to see places. When it comes to skin cancer, early detection and treatment can be life saving.
These tips are a good start for keeping your skin healthy and preventing skin cancers. Want more information? This list of skin cancer resources offers helpful information. Interested in learning about your sun screen options? The PASS Coalition is here to help.