According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States with one in five Americans developing skin cancer in their lifetime. The AAD estimates that approximately 9,500 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with skin cancer every day. Sun avoidance is the best defense against skin cancer; seek shade, wear protective clothing, and generously apply sunscreen. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends choosing a sunscreen that states the following on the label:
- Broad Spectrum. Protects skin from ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays, both of which can cause cancer.
- SPF 30 or higher. Indicates how well a sunscreen protects from sunburn.
- Water Resistant. Sunscreens can be “water resistant” for 40 minutes or “very water resistant” for 80 minutes.
Sunscreens are not waterproof or sweat proof and need to be reapplied every two hours. Most adults need approximately one ounce of sunscreen to fully cover their body. Remember that the sun’s rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. If your shadow is shorter than you are, seek shade and make sure you have plenty of sunscreen on. Talk with your healthcare provider about your sun exposure and perform regular skin self-exams to detect skin cancer early, when it’s most treatable, and see a board-certified dermatologist if you notice new or suspicious spots on your skin, or anything changing, itching or bleeding.
By: Ashley Svaty