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Here’s what you need to know about sun safety this summer.

May 26, 2021 | Skin Cancer


Did you know that as little as 15 minutes is enough time for the sun to damage your skin? Too much exposure to the sun can cause lasting problems, including: wrinkles, age spots, sun burn, and even skin cancer.

“Non-Melanoma skin cancer is the most common type of cancer, and Melanoma, which is a more serious type of skin cancer, is the fifth most common type of cancer,” said Dr. Rice. “But fortunately, the most common forms, like basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, are highly treatable if they are caught early.”

This summer, take steps to reduce your risk of skin damage and protect the health of you and your family.

Wear the right clothing.
A t-shirt or a beach coverup will provide some protection from UV rays. Hats will, too, especially hats made from a tightly woven fabric, such as canvas. Remember, though, that t-shirts have an SPF rating lower than 15, so be sure to use other types of sun protection too.

Don’t forget your sunglasses.
UV rays can cause cataracts, so it’s important to protect your eyes from the sun. Look for sunglasses that block both UVA and UVB rays.

Use sunscreen.
Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher, and reapply it every two hours or after swimming, sweating or toweling off. Yes, sunscreen does expire, so make sure to check the expiration date on the bottle.

Find shade.
Staying in the shade is one of the best ways to limit your exposure to UV rays. If you can’t find shade, bring it with you! Beach umbrellas are a great way to provide some shade when you can’t find any.

Don’t use tanning beds.
Tanning beds emit UV rays that are just as dangerous as the sun. Avoiding tanning beds is perhaps the easiest thing you can do to reduce your risk of skin cancer.

Pay attention to your surroundings.
Water reflects the sun’s rays, which can increase your exposure to UV radiation. Take extra steps to protect yourself when you’re out on the water.

Penn Highlands Healthcare offers skin cancer screening at convenient locations throughout the region. For more information, please visit www.phhealthcare.org/service/skin-cancer.