Written by: Hailey Peckat | Program Manager at Fitness at SPS Tower | AdvantageHealth Corporation
July is UV Safety Awareness month. With the heat of the summer months here, it is important to brush up on your sun safety! Too much sun exposure can increase the risk of skin cancer, but the sun also has plenty of health benefits. Proper sun safety can reduce your risk of skin cancer and optimize the benefit of the sun.
There are many ways to reduce your risk of skin cancer. UV rays are strongest between the times of 10am-4pm, so limit your time in the direct sunlight and make sure to utilize your sunscreen! Other options to reduce the sun expose include wearing a long sleeve shirt, a hat, and sunglasses. When using sunscreen, remember sunscreen does not protect you completely and you should still limit your duration.
Also, plan what sunscreen you use based on your activity. There are specific sunscreens meant to be waterproof or sweat resistant, perfect for lake days or that midday bike ride! Double check the directions for time of reapplication and do not forget to check the expiration date, too!
Anyone is at risk for skin cancer (although older adults and those with lighter skin tones, freckles, blue or green eyes and blond or red hair are at highest risk), so skin checks should be done regularly! Remember the A-B-C-D-Es of skin cancer when looking at new growths, sores that do not heal, and changing moles.
A: The shape of the spot is “asymmetrical.”
B: The “border” of the spot is irregular or jagged.
C: The “color” of the spot is uneven or different from that of the surrounding skin.
D: The “diameter” of the spot is greater than one centimeter.
E: A spot is “evolving,” or changing in size, shape, or color, starts to bleed or displays other changes.
Take the proper steps to protect your skin from UV rays and get outside and enjoy the rest of the summer!