By Melanie A. Warycha, MD FAAD | Dermatology
With spring underway, and summer right around the corner, many people are spending more time outdoors. While enjoying the warm weather and longer days, remember to practice sun safety. The most common form of cancer in the United States is skin cancer. More than 5 million cases of skin cancer are diagnosed each year, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. Most of these cases are associated with the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation.
Both sunburns and tans are forms of skin injury. They damage the skin at the cellular level, which increases a person’s risk of skin cancer. “We know the incidence of melanoma, an aggressive and potentially fatal skin cancer, is on the rise,” explains Melanie A. Warycha, MD, a dermatologist at CareMount Medical. “The majority of skin cancers can be prevented. There are easy steps one can take to lower one’s risk of skin cancer.”
Follow these tips to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays:
Sun protection is not just for summer. “People need sun protection all-year round,” says Dr. Warycha. “Sun can reflect off snow, sand, and water. If you know you’ll be outdoors for greater than 15 minutes, apply sunscreen, even in the wintertime.