Skin cancer is one of the most preventable types of cancer. Sun damage is the most common cause of skin cancer. Ultraviolet A and B rays play different roles in tanning or burning the skin.
Here are some suggestions and tips to protect your skin from UVA and UVB rays.
- Apply sunscreens which have a SPF (sun protection factor) of 30 or more. Make sure the packaging mentions clearly that it covers both UVA and UVB rays.
- Sunscreen should be applied 15 minutes before going outdoors. It should be applied year round and even in cloudy weather. Ideally it should be reapplied every 2 hours or when you get wet.
- Stay in the shade during day time. Sun exposure between 10 AM to 4 PM is especially bad for the skin. During this period UV rays from the sun are the strongest.
- Wear sun glasses that wrap around the eyes and block both UVA and UVB rays.
- Wear clothing that covers as much skin as possible, especially the arms and legs.
- Wet clothes let through more UV rays than dry clothes. Use extra caution and take spare clothes before getting, especially at beaches and swimming ps.
- Wear a hat with a wide brim to shade your face, head, ears, and neck. These are the areas commonly burned by UV rays.
- Sand and reflect UV rays, which can increase the chances of sun burn. Use extra caution near water and sand.
- Avoid tanning bedsing and sunbathing. Tanning is never safe, even ultra lights which are used in salons emit UV rays. These rays can cause sunburn and wrinkling, not to mention cancer.
- Examine your skin head to toe once a month. If you notice any moles or any new spots, they need to be investigated. Even changes in color, or of existing spots should be evaluated by a dermatologist.