|Sun exposure is the most preventable risk factor for skin cancer. Even in the South Bay with a lifestyle that’s all about the outdoors, you can still enjoy the sun and be healthy. Here’s how to do it:
- Generously apply sunscreen to all exposed skin using a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 30 that provides broad-spectrum protection from both ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays. Re-apply every two hours, even on cloudy days, and after swimming or sweating.
- Wear protective clothing, such as a long-sleeved shirt, pants, a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses, where possible.
- Seek shade when appropriate, remembering that the sun’s rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
- Use extra caution near water, snow and sand as they reflect the damaging rays of the sun which can increase your chance of sunburn.
- Protect children from sun exposure by applying sunscreen for them and re-applying every two hours.
- Get vitamin D safely through a healthy diet that includes vitamin supplements. Don’t try to get vitamin D from the sun.
- Avoid tanning beds. Ultraviolet light from the sun and tanning beds causes skin cancer and wrinkling. If you want to look like you’ve been in the sun, consider using a sunless self-tanning product, but continue to use sunscreen with it.
- Use water resistant sunscreen if you will be perspiring, have oily skin, or will be doing water activities, reapply after toweling off.
- Check your own body and skin often. If you notice anything changing, growing, or bleeding on your skin, see a dermatologist. Skin cancer is very treatable when caught early.