5 Tips to Reduce Your Risk for Skin Cancer

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the U.S.,  and more than 87,000 new cases of skin cancer will be diagnosed this year, according to the American Cancer Society.

Skin cancer is preventable if you take the right precautions. Here are the steps you can follow to lower your risk.

Never Go Without Sunscreen

Sunscreen isn’t only for when you’re outdoors. When you’re riding in a car or sitting next to a window, UV rays can penetrate these objects and increase your sun exposure, potentially elevating your risk for sun damage, sun spots, wrinkles, premature skin aging and skin cancer.

3To limit your exposure, use a broad spectrum sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays and apply at least one ounce of it all over, including your ears, the back of your neck and other exposed areas. Typical sunscreens, whether they are SPF 30 or SPF 50, only offer protection from UVB rays, which burn the outer layer of your skin. However, UVA rays are more damaging and can penetrate the skin’s thickest layer, so a broad spectrum sunscreen is best. And don’t forget to reapply it about every two hours if you’ve gone swimming or sweat excessively.

Wear the Right Clothing

If you can’t stay in the shade all day, it’s important to wear the right clothing when you’re outdoors. In warmer weather, wear dark, lightweight clothing that covers your arms and legs and wear a hat to protect your face. UV rays also can damage your eyes, so put on sunglasses to reduce your sun exposure. Also consider buying UV-blocking fabric sprays and protectants that you can add to your clothes when you wash them to increase sun protection in these fabrics.

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