Summer Safety: Seven Facts You Need to Know to Avoid Skin Cancer

If you’re a man or woman over 40, check your sun-protection habits. The rate of skin cancer among men and women 40 to 60 years old increased nearly eightfold from 1970 to 2009.  Sun protection and avoidance are the most effective forms of prevention from skin cancer. However, some adults aren’t fans of messy creams or lotions. One solution is to wear sun protective clothing and hats with a wide brim that extend all the way around (not baseball hats). And while some adults do use sunscreen regularly, many aren’t using it correctly. People who get sunburned don’t use enough sunscreen, don’t reapply it after being in the sun, or use expired products.  Make sure you’re staying sun safe by following the latest guidelines:

  • Use new sunscreen that has an SPF of 30 or more, is water resistant, and provides broad-spectrum coverage against both UVA and UVB rays.
  • Apply sunscreen at least 15 minutes before you go outside. If you apply sunscreen when you’re already in the sun, you may burn.
  • Adults need at least an ounce of sunscreen for adequate protection (that’s the amount that would fill a shot glass).
  • Apply sunscreen to all bare skin (and don’t forget a lip balm with SPF).
  • Reapply your sunscreen often — especially after swimming or sweating.
  • Remember, your skin can get burned even when it’s cloudy or cool outside. Minimize sun exposure by scheduling outdoor activities before 10:00 a.m. or after 3:00 p.m. (avoiding the time of day when the sun’s rays are strongest).