It is summer and that often means sunburn. Most don’t realize that the most common cancer in the United States is skin cancer. Skin cancer can be deadly, which is why there is a whole month dedicated to it. July is UV Awareness Month.
The good news is that skin cancer is very preventable.

UV Safety tips to Keep Your Skin, and You, Healthy:

1) First an foremost, the most obvious prevention tip: Apply a good amount of broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF 15 or greater. Dermatologists recommend a strength of 15 to 30 and if you are fair skinned, an SPF 30 to 50 is recommended. Re-application of sunscreen is also important if you perspire or swim, unless the sunscreen is water proof.

2)Wear protective clothes, hats and UV protective sunglasses. The eyes are particularly sensitive to UV radiation and so protecting your eyes is very important. Polarized lenses are a good idea as they prevent UV radiation and your vision as well.

3) Avoid the sun during the high noon hours, between 10 AM and 2PM. Avoiding the sun between those hours is a good idea and if you have to be out in the sun. At the very least, if you must be out, wear the clothes, hats, sunglasses and the sunscreen mentioned above.

4) Beware of sand and snow! The sand reflects up to 15 to 20 percent of the sun’s rays, hence intensifying the UV rays off of the sand at the beach. Along those same lines, you may be thinking this is a summer issue. Not necessarily!

5) The snow reflects up to 80 percent of the sun’s rays, making it quite easy to get a sunburn. If you ski, or spend a lot of time in the snow during winter months, it’s important to wear a good sunscreen. Every thousand feet of altitude also increases the suns strength, so if you are going skiing in high altitudes the sun is that much stronger.

The effects of the sun on the skin can cause long term damage. Sunburn is the catalyst. Premature aging, sun spots and wrinkles are side effects. More serious effects such as cancerous and pre cancerous signs such as squamous cell carcinoma, basal cell carcinoma and melanoma can be life threatening.

For more information on the dangers of the sun feel free to visit us at AFC Urgent Care in Hartsdale, or check in online