In Southern California, we spend a lot of time outside all year round — soaking up the sun, enjoying the beautiful weather, taking walks & bike rides, and lounging at the beach and pool. However, too much fun in the sun can take a toll on your skin and may lead to skin cancer.
More than 2 million Americans develop skin cancer each year, and sun exposure plays a big role in the development of melanoma. Scientists have established that three risk factors for increasing your chances of skin cancer are indoor tanning, exposure to ultraviolet radiation and severe sunburns – all things a person can control.
Below are some tips from the EWG Sun Safety Campaign for the best way to enjoy the sunshine while keeping yourself and your family safe.
- Make sun safety a daily habit: Sunscreen is very important but it shouldn’t be your only protection from the sun. Cover up with hats, shirts and sunglasses for the best protection.
- How to pick a good sunscreen: Both UVA and UVB rays cause skin cancer so pick a sunscreen that offers Broad Spectrum Protection to protect you from both.
- Sun safety tips for kids: A few blistering sunburns in childhood can double a person’s lifetime chances of developing serious forms of skin cancer. Protect kids with a sunscreen that is effective and safe.
- Sunlight and Aging: The sun’s ultraviolet radiation is responsible for 80 percent of facial aging signs such as wrinkling, dryness, sagging and spotty pigmentation. Follow the steps above to protect your complexion, and don’t get burned and avoid the tanning bed.
- Invest in UV-protective sunglasses: Sunglasses can protect the eyes from some UV damage caused by UV and bright light in the visible spectrum.
- Get your vitamin D: Adequate levels of vitamin D may reduce the risk of melanoma, and it is known to combat other cancers. Get screened for vitamin D deficiency.
- Check your skin regularly for new moles that are tender or growing. Ask your primary care doctor how often you should see a dermatologist. Read more about checking for irregular moles here.