Ultraviolet (UV) exposure is the most preventable risk factor for all skin cancers. Even on cloudy days, up to 80 percent of the sun’s UV rays can penetrate the clouds. The American Academy of Dermatology and McFarland Clinic Dermatology have tips and information to practice safe sun.
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It is estimated that one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. Sunlight consists of two types of harmful rays that can cause cancer - UVA and UVB rays. Overexposure to these types of rays can lead to skin cancer. When outside, follow these three steps to keep your skin safe:
Everyone needs sunscreen. Regardless of age, gender, or race, everyone is at risk for skin cancer.
The American Academy of Dermatology recommends choosing a sunscreen that is:
Sunscreen should be worn every day if you will be outside. Use extra caution around water, snow, and sand as they can reflect the sun’s harmful rays.
Remember to protect your lips by applying a lip balm with an SPF of at least 15 (e.g. Coppertone Sport Sunscreen Lip Blam or Elta MB Lip Balm).
Parents should avoid exposing babies younger than 6 months to the sun’s rays. The best way to protect infants from the sun is to keep them in the shade as much as possible. Minimize sunscreen use on children younger than 6 months old, and when using sunscreen on infants and toddlers, choose one with active ingredients of zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide.
Need Help Selecting Sunscreen?
Check out this handy brochure from our McFarland Clinic Dermatology department for sunscreen recommendations.