Be Sun Safe This Summer

By: LINDSEY MURRAY

Edited By: ARYA ROERIG

From laying by the pool to competing in a game of volleyball with some friends on the beach, the summer season is easily the best time to feel carefree and relaxed. However, this carefree attitude can sometimes make it easy to forget that the season also brings along high risks of skin damage that can lead to life threating forms of skin cancer.

The Skin Cancer Foundation explains that over two million people are diagnosed annually with some form of skin cancer. The causes range from baking in tanning bed on a daily bases to that one time where you may have forgotten to reapply sunscreen and got burnt to a crisp. No matter what the cause one thing is for certain; skin cancer is the most highly preventable form of cancer and can be avoided by following these three tips:

1.         Be sunscreen smart. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) advises that you use a sunscreen with at least SPF 15. If possible, choose a higher numbered SPF as it will be more effective in blocking UV rays. But, no matter what the SPF, always remember to reapply every two hours or after excessively sweating or swimming. It is also important to check the expiration date of your sunscreen to ensure that you are not using ineffective, expired sun screen.

2.         Use accessories to your advantage.  Sunglasses and even cute summer hats are great ways to prevent sun damage. Keep your eyes open for full brimmed hats that will provide protection for your face, ears, and neck. The CDC recommends a tightly woven fabric such as canvas, as it is better at blocking harmful rays. The same goes for sunglasses. Aim for a wraparound pair of sunglasses that will block UV rays from entering through the sides and damaging the delicate skin around the eyes. It is okay to justify splurging on sunglasses that block UVA and UVB rays, as these will provide the best protection.

3.         Say “NO!” to indoor tanning. Whether it is frequently or only once, tanning booths and beds are the worst possible things for your skin. These forms of sunlamp tanning have been linked with the deadliest forms of skin cancer including melanoma, as well as cancers of the eye. If you cannot resist the desire to flaunt a summertime golden glow try a sunless tanning lotion. These lotions have an effect on the skin that resembles a suntan without the UV damage. While sometimes using these products may make it difficult to avoid a fake looking color, they are much safer than tanning in the sun or at a salon.

Following these three tips will help to drastically reduce your risk of skin cancer. In addition, following these, you will avoid ruining your summer fun due to pesky and painfully uncomfortable sunburn.  Keeping your skin safe this summer is extremely easy and will allow you to remain carefree in the most relaxing season of all. And best of all, you won’t have to worry about the after effects of your worry less summer!

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