While enjoying the sun before the end of summer may be on your mind, remember that overexposure to UV radiation from the sun can be dangerous. UV rays are often associated with the risk of skin cancer but it is also important to know that over time, overexposure can lead to more serious health problems, including premature aging of the skin, cataracts and other eye damage, and immune system suppression.
Skin cancer is one of the most common cancers in this country and it is one of the most preventable ones.
Simple skin cancer prevention steps:
- Avoid sunburns, which will increase the risk of developing skin cancer, especially for children.
- Avoid sun tanning and tanning beds.
- Apply generous amounts of sunscreen with at least SPF 30. Reapply every two hours.
- Wear protective clothing, including long-sleeved shirt, hat, and sunglasses.
- Seek shade, especially between 10 AM and 4 PM when UV rays are strongest.
- Be careful near water, snow and sand that will reflect the damaging rays of the sun.
- Check the UV Index forecast that is issued by the National Weather Service and EPA.
- Get vitamin D safely through a diet and foods fortified with vitamin D.