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Sun Safety and Skin Cancer

Women laying on the beach

The sun’s ultraviolet rays can damage your skin in just minutes. And even during the wintertime, you’re not immune to the sun’s harmful effects. When the sun reflects off of snow or ice, it can do just as much damage to your skin as when you’re lying on the beach. The good news is most skin cancer can be prevented. Check out the following tips to protect your skin from the sun.

  • Wear sunscreen. This one should be pretty obvious. Sunscreen absorbs, reflects and scatters sunlight to protect your skin from UV rays. Keep in mind that sunscreen wears off, so be sure to reapply every couple of hours.
  • Look for shade. Your risk of skin damage and skin cancer decreases when you sit in the shade of an umbrella or tree. And even when you’re in the shade, it’s still a good idea to wear sunscreen when you’re outdoors.
  • Wear a hat. Choose a hat that has a brim that goes all the way around to shade your face, ears and back of your neck. If you wear a baseball cap, make sure to protect your ears and back of your neck by applying sunscreen that is at least SPF 15.
  • Protect your eyes. Wearing sunglasses not only protects your eyes from harmful UV rays, it also reduces your risk of developing cataracts. Look for sunglasses that block both UVA and UVB rays.
  • Cover up. Wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants provides adequate protection from UV rays. It’s important to note that clothes made from tightly woven fabric will provide the most protection. And wearing a darker color rather than white can also help keep you safe from the sun. If you’re in a hot climate where wearing long-sleeves doesn’t make sense (like when you’re on the beach), wear a t-shirt or cover-up.

To learn more about the best ways to protect your skin from the sun, or if you’re interested in any of the other dermatologic services we provide, contact Westerville Dermatology online or by calling 614.895.0400 today to schedule an appointment.

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