Most people diligently apply sunscreen when they go to the beach or swimming pool, but what they fail to remember is that the sun is up in the sky 365 days a year. Damage to your skin occurs cumulatively every time you are exposed to daylight and the risk of contracting skin cancer grows. There are many things that you can do to protect your skin from the dangerous sun rays year-round. It is necessary to use sunscreen the correct way, cover your skin properly and avoid all methods of tanning. These protective measures are all essential in preventing skin cancer.
Every time you step outside you should apply a sunscreen of at least SPF 15 to avoid accumulative damage that has the potential to cause skin cancer. This includes gardening, shopping, exercise and any other instance that you find yourself outside year-round. This even applies to cloudy days as the sun rays are still filtering through the clouds and damaging your skin.
The sunscreen that you use should contain ingredients that block UVB and UVA rays. It is important to apply sunscreen liberally to all uncovered skin. If enough sunscreen is not used the product’s SPF is greatly reduced. Do not neglect the often forgotten spots such as your hands, feet, neck, lips and ears. It is necessary to apply sunscreen every 2 hours and more often if some of it has been removed by swimming or sweating.
Another form of protection from skin cancer is covering up properly. When possible, wear pants and long-sleeved shirts. Dark or bright colors offer more protection than light colors because light cannot get through dark fabrics very well. The more light you can see shining through your clothing means that more UV rays are getting through to your skin. It is important to note that wet clothing also reduces the protection offered by clothing.
Accessories such as hats and sunglasses are also very useful in protecting your skin. A broad-rimmed hat is a better choice than a ball cap because it can cover more areas like your neck, ears and face. UV-blocking sunglasses protect all of the skin around your eyes and also cut down on the risk of cataracts. The skin around peoples eyes is often neglected and therefore a common spot for skin cancer.
The consequence of sun damage is a tan. Despite what many people believe, a healthy tan is not possible. When outside, it is best to seek shade as often as possible. Also contrary to belief, tanning parlors offer more harm than natural light. UV radiation from tanning lamps is even more intense than sunlight. It causes an increased risk of skin cancer, burns and premature aging.
As you can see, these are all simple measures to follow. It is important to continuously protect yourself from the sun’s damaging rays so that you can avoid skin cancer. Even more important is to be a good example and teach your children to protect themselves. Good habits are learned in our youth and since sun damage occurs accumulatively children should always be protected.