Sun Safety 101: Do you need a refresher course?

Sun Safety 101: Do you need a refresher course?

We all know that too much sun exposure can be harmful, but did you know that skin cancer is the most common of all cancer types?  Most skin cancers are caused by too much exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays.  Prevention and early detection are the best ways to keep your skin healthy. 

This summer, pledge to pamper your skin. Here are some easy ways to protect your skin from sun damage:

  1. Wear sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher.  If you have fair skin or light hair, you are more susceptible to the sun’s rays and should use a sunscreen with a higher SPF.  Choose sunscreen labeled “broad spectrum,” meaning that it protects against two types of harmful rays: UVA and UVB.
  2. Use waterproof sunscreen to make sure it stays on longer, even if you perspire or get wet. Reapply sunscreen often, usually every 90 minutes or two hours, but sooner if you have been swimming or are perspiring heavily. 
  3. Cover your whole body. Remember those areas that can be easy to forget, such as your ears, eyelids, lips, nose, hands, feet, and the top of your head.
  4. Seek shade or avoid the sun during the peak hours of 10am to 4 pm.  The sun is strongest during those hours, even on cloudy days. 
  5. Wear wrap-around sunglasses that provide 100% UV protection to safeguard your eyes.
  6. Wear a hat with a wide brim to help shade your eyes, ears, and head.  Wear lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that protects a larger area of your skin, such as long-sleeve shirts or long pants.  Tightly woven fabrics in dark or bright colors are best. 

Have questions? Contact AAMC’s Cancer Prevention Nurses, Joanne Ebner, BSN, RN, COHN-S  and Susan Glover, MSN, RN.

-Susan Glover, MSN, RN

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