Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Protect yourself from summer skin damage and skin cancer

The summer months bring with them lots of time outside enjoying the warm weather and sunshine, and with this extra sun exposure it’s important to remember how to protect yourself from skin damage and skin cancer. Research shows that using sunscreen can reduce the risk of melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer, and also protect skin from the sun’s damaging rays. But what type of sunscreen offers the best protection?

The type of sunscreen you use will depend on the amount of time you spend outside, and the activities you perform, but a general rule of thumb is a sunscreen that is advertised as water resistant, broad-spectrum, and has a higher SPF of at least 15 or 30. By using a broad-spectrum sunscreen you protect yourself from both the UVA rays that cause premature aging and wrinkles, and UVB rays that burn your skin. A higher SPF sunscreen is found to better protect skin from sunburn, but keep in mind that an SPF 30 is not twice as effective as an SPF 15 sunscreen.

No matter what type of sunscreen you use, make sure to follow the labeling instructions for use and reapplying the sunscreen. Usually, it’s recommended that you reapply sunscreen every two hours; more frequently if you have been swimming or sweating.

In addition to using sunscreen, you can further your protection by staying out of the sun during peak hours (10am-2pm), and wearing protective clothing that covers your skin and protects your eyes.
Information from:
Mayo Clinic Health System Health Note
Amy Every
Senior Communication Consultant - Marketing Communications
Mayo Clinic Health System Franciscan Healthcare
700 West Avenue South
La Crosse, WI 54601