Sun exposure is the main cause of most skin cancers, including melanoma, the deadliest type of skin cancer. Contrary to popular belief, 80 percent of a person’s lifetime sun exposure is not acquired before age 18; only about 23 percent of lifetime exposure occurs by age 18 and only 47 percent by age 401.
Protect yourself from the sun
Take extra precautions in the sun to avoid sunburn and help keep your and your family's skin healthy for a lifetime! Follow these tips from the American Association of Dermatology to stay safe in the sun.
- Apply sunscreen to yourself and children. Reapply every 2 hours for the best protection. Look for these factors:
- SPF 30
- "Broad-spectrum" to protect from both UVA and UVB rays
- Wear protective clothing, including hats and sunglasses.
- Have fun in the shade and avoid midday sun.
- Use extra caution near reflective surfaces, such as sand, snow, pavement and water.
- Get vitamin D in other ways, such as supplements.
- Avoid indoor tanning beds.
- Protect children from sun exposure.
- Know the ABCDE's of skin cancer and perform monthly self-exams. Report anything unusual to your doctor.