Sun exposure is the most preventable risk factor for all skin cancers, including melanoma. You can have fun in the sun and decrease your risk of skin cancer. According to WebMD, there are nine important ways to protect your skin.
- Wear sunscreen every day, in all weather and in every season. It should have a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 and say "broad-spectrum" on the label, which means it protects against the sun's UVA and UVB rays. Put it on at least 15 minutes before going outside. Use one ounce, about enough to fill a shot glass.
- Reapply sunscreen at least every 80 minutes, or more often if you're sweating or swimming.
- Wear sunglasses with total UV protection.
- Wear wide-brimmed hats, and long-sleeved shirts and pants.
- Avoid being out in the sun as much as possible between 10 am and 2 pm.
- Check your skin regularly so you know what's normal for you and so you will notice any changes or new growths.
- Choose cosmetics and contact lenses that offer UV protection. You still need to use sunscreen and wear sunglasses with broad-spectrum sun protection.
- If you're a parent, protect your child's skin and practice those habits together.
- Do not use tanning beds.