Sun Safety

Characteristics of persons with increased risk of skin cancer:

  • Spends many hours outdoors;
  • Has fair skin and light-colored hair. Redheads and blondes are also more at risk than those with dark hair;
  • Doesn’t tan easily, but freckles or burns first; and
  • Has many moles.

Here are some ways to protect against the harmful effects of the sun:

  • Wear clothing that doesn’t let much visible light through to your skin;
  • Wear sunscreen with sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15, which blocks 93 percent of burning UV rays. SPF 30 blocks 97 percent;
  • Wear a wide-brim hat;
  • Wear sunglasses rated for blocking 99 or 100 percent of UV;
  • Limit exposure to the sun from the hours of 10:00am to 2:00pm.

Early warning signs:

  • A spot on your skin that changes in size, color or shape over a period of one month to one or two years;
  • A red scaly patch that is visibly outlined;
  • A wax-like pale pearly knob;
  • A sore that doesn’t heal; and
  • The most serious, melanoma, often begins as a small growth that looks like a mole. If you find an unusual skin change, see a medical professional.

Examine your body regularly because if you detect it early, skin cancer can almost always be cured.