Some Red-Hot Truths About Skin Cancer

Source from Blue Health Solutions Newsletter, Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania Insurance

Summer is getting closer and closer! Here are some facts about sun exposure that you may not know:

• Sunscreen does not completely shield out ultraviolet (UV) rays. It only diminishes them. In one study, people who wore sunscreen had a higher risk of getting melanoma than those who did not. That’s because they tended to stay in the sun longer.

• Clothes have an ultraviolet protection factor, meaning they can shield you from harmful UV rays. A tightly woven fabric offers the best protection.
• Both sunburns and suntans cause skin damage. Even a few blistering sunburns can increase your risk for melanoma. But it’s your lifetime exposure to the sun that boosts your risk for non-melanoma skin cancers.
You can counter these facts with the following precautions:
-Stay in the shade, particularly midday.
-If you must be in the sun, wear sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher and wear protective clothing. Don’t forget a wide brimmed hat and sunglasses.
-Be diligent and regular skin cancer exams, both self-exams and professional screenings.