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Protect Your Skin In The Sun

Updated on July 26, 2012

Skin safety is a must

With 1 in 5 Americans developing skin cancer, it is vital to protect yourself and your family from the dangerous UVA and UVB rays of the sun. It is also important to examine your skin and be alert to changes that should be checked by your doctor.

Basic Skin Safety Tips

1. Limit your exposure to the sun, especially from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm when the sun's rays are the strongest.

2. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 30 of higher on all exposed areas of skin. Also use a lip balm with sunscreen. Apply both 30 minutes before going outside.

3. Reapply sunscreen and lip balm every 2 hours, especially after swimming or perspiring, or as recommended on the label.

4. Wear a wide-brimmed hat and clothing that covers your body. Check camping stores for clothing with extra protection from the sun.

5. Wear UV-protective sunglasses. The wrap-around style is best.

6. Seek the shade whenever possible. Sunlight reflects off water, sand, concrete, and snow. It also reaches below the water's surface and comes through clouds. Therefore, wear sunscreen and protective gear in all types of weather.

7. Avoid sun lamps and tanning parlors. If you want to look tan, use a self-tanning product, and also sunscreen with SPF of 30 or higher.

8. Keep infants under 6 months old out of direct sunlight. Children over 6 months of age need a sunscreen of at least SPF 30 on all exposed skin. A wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses with UV protection also are recommended for youngsters.

9. If you are taking medications, check with your doctor to find out if any of them make you more sensitive to the sun.

10. Learn the signs of skin cancer.

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