Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in this United States, but it is also one of the most preventable. With the heat and activity of the summer months still upon us, it is important to be proactive in protecting your skin from the sun and other sources of ultraviolet (UV) radiation.
UV rays are invisible to the naked eye and are more intense in the summer, at higher altitudes, and in areas closer to the equator. Overexposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun causes sunburn (erythema), skin cancer, premature aging (skin wrinkling), cataracts (gradual clouding of the lens of the eye), immune system suppression, DNA damage and dilated blood vessels.
Arizona means living with sunshine year round, even when it’s not super hot outside. That can be dangerous for your skin. Some people believe that the cooler weather in the winter or spring decreases their risk of developing skin cancer. The truth is, regardless of the temperature outside, the sun can still cause skin damage. All sun exposure poses a risk to your skin–even in those months that aren’t super hot.
Even though summer is halfway over, August is Summer Sun Safety Month. Which means there is still time to be conscious about practicing sun safety. One major way you can do this is by slathering on some sunscreen.
Choosing a sunscreen can be a daunting task. With so many combinations of numbers and specializations (SPF what?), it’s no wonder a lot of people skip wearing sunscreen altogether. To clear up some of the confusion, let’s talk more about what SPF is as well as its importance when using the right sunscreen for your skin.
The National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention has designated the Friday before Memorial Day as “Don’t Fry Day”–a day to encourage awareness of sun safety in hopes of reducing the rates of skin cancer caused by overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays. With a little planning, you can enjoy the summer sun and protect your skin–not just on this day, but every day.
The Importance of Sun Safety
Sunshine is enjoyable–but too much exposure to the sun can be dangerous. Overexposure to UV rays can result in more than a painful sunburn. It can also lead to more serious health problems, including melanoma and nonmelanoma skin cancer.