beachWith summer officially beginning in mere weeks, we’ve arrived at the point of the year when it’s time to start getting serious about sun protection. The more and more scientists learn about skin cancer proves just how essential it is to apply sunscreen regularly. Suncreen is the most effective method to combat skin cancer, which is the single most common cancer in the United States, with 67,753 people getting diagnosed with melanoma (the most fatal form of skin cancer) in 2012 alone.

Therefore, it’s important for everyone to understand as much as possible about skin cancer. Here are some myths and facts about sun protection:

Myth: If it’s cloudy outside, it’s impossible for UV rays to affect people

Fact: Even if it’s cloudy outside, 80% of the sun’s UV rays still reach the ground.

Myth: UV rays only affect the outermost layer of the skin.

Fact: The truth is that Ultraviolet B rays are the rays that only affect the outer layer of the skin. However, Ultraviolet A rays penetrate deeper, causing a number of different skin cancers.

Myth: Sitting under an umbrella at the beach is effective enough form of sun protection.

Fact: While certain umbrellas may be better than others in terms of sun protection, the tropical-looking Spanish umbrellas fail to block at least 5% of harmful UV rays. Also, UV rays can reflect off of the sand and still burn you, even if the sand appears to be covered by shade.

Myth: Some sunscreens are waterproof.

Fact: 0% of sunscreens are 100% waterproof. For this reason, the FDA banned sunscreen companies from using the term ‘waterproof’ on their products or in their marketing. However, there are sunscreens that are extremely effective at keeping people protected in the water. For these sunscreens, they’re typically labeled “water-resistant”.

This summer, it’s important to make sure you bring sunscreen with you everywhere you go. Even if it just means using a moisturizer in the morning with SPF-protection, you’re still taking a major step in potentially saving yourself from developing skin cancer. Parents need to be proactive with their children in helping them understand the importantness of using sunscreen. They’ll hopefully then instill this essential healthy lesson about sunscreen.