Did you know that May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month? Here is what you need to know going into the summer about skin cancer and ways you can minimize the risks of sun exposure.
1. Melanoma or skin cancer is the most common form of cancer found in the United States.
2. It only takes as little as 15 minutes of exposure to damage your skin.
3. You need to protect your skin even on cloudy and overcast days because UV rays are are still able to penetrate through the clouds and damage your skin. Studies show that only 20% of UV rays get blocked by clouds, letting 80% through.
4. Any change in the color of your skin is an indication of UV ray damage.
5. In order to best protect yourself from sun damage sunscreen should be reapplied at least every two hours.
6. You can get a sun burn while driving your car. You may think you are safe with a rolled up window, but UV rays will come straight through the glass and cause sun damage on your skin.
7. There is no such thing as water proof sunscreen – only water resistant. If you are swimming this summer, reapplying your sunscreen needs to happen frequently as no sunscreen is truly water proof.
8. In a 2013 study, only 13% of high school girls and 7% of high school boys reported using sunscreen on a regular basis when exposed to sun. Compare this to 73% of adult women and 67% of adult men.
9. Individuals with light or fair skin burn more easily and need to take extra precautions against the suns harmful rays.
10. To best protect yourself from sun damage, you should take as many precautions as possible including: wearing sunscreen, avoiding tanning beds, wearing protective clothing and hats, checking the UV index prior to sun exposure, and seeking shade when outdoors.