Do This, Not That
When it comes to skin cancer, there are a few things you can do to make yourself less at risk. These are things that not only allow you to still enjoy yourself but protect you better against the sun's harmful rays and are proactive in preventing skin cancer.
Enjoying the beach
Summer isn't quite over yet and there is still time to enjoy the beach. Here are a few do's and don't's when it comes to playing it safe, while still being able to play.
Do wear plenty of sunscreen with a high SPF.
Do wear a hat to protect your head and face.
Do wear sunglasses that wrap around and block both UVA and UVB rays.
Do invest in rash guards that cover your skin while allowing you to enjoy the water, beach, and atmosphere. Rash guards can provide extra coverage and help protect sunburns more than just sunscreen. Rash guards are made with ultraviolet protection factors, also called UPF. Keep in mind that these can't replace sunscreen, but when you use both a rash guard and sunscreen, you are double protected.1
Don't be out in the harshest sun which is between 10 am and 4 pm. While this does cut into part of the day, there are safer times of the day to enjoy the beach without worrying about the sun quite as much. And you can certainly go out during this time of day, just find some shade within these hours.
Don't trust that your sunscreen will last all day. Apply more after being in the water, sweating, or after a few hours.
Getting a Tan
While you may love how you look with a tan, there are alternatives to putting your skin at risk.
Do use a spray tan. You can look at reviews to find the one that looks the most natural or head over to the tanning salon but skip the indoor tanning and opt for a professional spray tan. These last from a few days to a week or two and won't harm your skin.
Don't use indoor tanning, as mentioned. Indoor tanning is not safe and is just as harmful as the full sun!! According to the American Academy of Dermatology, UV light from the sun and from indoor tanning beds increases your risk for melanoma, the dealiest type of skin cancer. They also increase the risk for any mole on your skin becoming melanoma. Simply put: UV rays are bad news, and it's best that you avoid them as much as you can.2 This will help prevent and protect you from skin cancer.
Protect yourself from skin cancer (but have fun too!)
While protecting yourself from skin cancer may seem like a hassle, it doesn't have to take away from your summer fun. As long as you keep in mind some of the tips mentioned, you'll be safer and can enjoy yourself just as much as anyone else.
Have you taken our Beyond the Cancer Diagnosis Survey?