Summer is officially here—and so is the increased threat of developing skin cancer. As the most common of all cancers (accounting for 50 percent of cancer diagnosis in the U.S.) it’s important that we take the time and effort to protect our skin—and our very lives—from harmful sun exposure.
The good news is that there are several simple things you can do to help guard against this deadly disease. Consider the following:
Avoid prolonged, direct sun exposure. A little sun expose is healthy, but it should never lead to a sun burn.
When you must be in the sun for prolonged periods of time to do yard work or attend outdoor events, slip on a long sleeve shirt and hat.
Use sunscreen, especially those that use natural ingredients (these can be found at most health food stores.) Avoid sunscreens that contain a large amount of chemicals.
Stay away from tanning beds and sun lamps. Exposure to these UV rays gives you an 8x higher chance to develop skin cancer and also negatively affects the immune system.
Should you begin to notice unusual spots and skin changes, such as persistent red patches and areas that itch or bleed—don’t wait, consult a dermatologist.
[Source: cancer.org “skin care facts”]