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Photo: Weight of the Nation

Warmer weather beckons us outdoors – an open invitation to play in the sun! From spring festivals, to graduations, lawn work/gardening and vacations, the time spent outdoors likely increases with the longer, warmer days of summer. As the season heats up, remember to protect your skin. According to the CDC, skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. Even on cloudy days, walking around the city, or in the park, UV rays can damage your skin.

How to Protect Your Skin

One in five Americans will develop skin cancer (The National Council of Skin Care Prevention). Taking a few precautions year round will help limit your chances of sunburn, wrinkles and your likelihood of getting skin cancer.

UV rays are the strongest during mid-day (10:00 AM – 4:00 PM), so pay particular attention to your skin if you are outdoors during these hours. Here are a few tips to protect yourself and your family this summer and all year long:

  • Stay in the shade, especially during the strongest hours of the sun.
  • Wear sunglasses with UVA and UVB protection and cover up exposed skin with clothing.
  • Wear a wide-brim hat to protect your face, ears, head and neck from the sun.
  • Apply sunscreen with a sun protective factor (SPF) 15 or higher, 30 minutes before going outside. Check the label of your sunscreen to ensure protection from both UVA and UVB rays.
  • Avoid intentional tanning, including tanning beds and sunlamps.
  • Use one ounce or a generous palm full of sunscreen with each application.
  • Don’t forget to protect your lips, apply lip balm or lip gloss with SPF protection.
  • Reapply sunscreen every two hours or immediately after sweating or swimming.
  • Cover up with protective clothing if you cannot avoid direct sun exposure. Wear long sleeves/pants made of tightly woven fabrics.

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