Summer in Arizona means triple digit temperatures and tons of sun. While this is one of the great things about living here, it can also be dangerous if we don’t take the right precautions. We need to spend time in the sunlight, but we also need to safeguard our skin against the damage it causes.
Skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in this country. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), about 60,000 people were diagnosed with it in 2010 and it took the lives of almost 10,000 people that year. But there are things you can do to safeguard your skin without missing out on all the summertime fun in the sun.
As you play in the pool, row down the river, or hike in the hills this summer, use these skin safety tips from the American Cancer Society to decrease the damage to your skin.
Simple Sun Safety
The American Cancer Society has developed its own version of “stop, drop, and roll”, called “slip, slop, slap!” This motto is meant to remind you to protect your skin from sun damage by slipping on a shirt, slopping on the sunscreen, and slapping on a hat.
Put on Some Clothes
Unfortunately, the times when we least want to be wearing long sleeves and pants are often some of the times when it is most important. The best way to protect your skin from damaging sun exposure is to limit that expose by keeping skin covered with lightweight clothing.
During the hottest times of the day, from about 10 in the morning until 4 in the afternoon, the sun’s rays are at their strongest and most dangerous. Plan ahead so that you can spend time outside during the off-peak hours and if you need to be out during this time, seek out shade as much as possible.
Sunscreen Saves Your Skin
The importance of applying the right amount of the right kind of sunscreen every time you leave the house cannot be overstated. Make sure you are always using sunscreen with at least a 30 SPF that protects against both UVA and UVB rays.
Sunscreen isn’t Sunblock
This is an important distinction many of us fail to make. Sunscreen helps limit the damage the sun’s rays can do to our skin but it doesn’t block these rays entirely. This means that simply wearing sunscreen isn’t enough to protect you.
Sunscreen has a Short Life
Unfortunately, sunscreen isn’t one of those things you can put on in the morning and then never think about again. You need to reapply it carefully according to the instructions on the bottle. Don’t forget easy to overlook spots like the tops of your ears, the back of your neck and even the part in your hair.
Don’t let a lack of sun awareness ruin your skin and safeguard the health of your skin by adopting these 5 sun-safety tips and then using them all summer long.