Happy New Year! With the ushering in of 2012, we at MoleSafe decided that now was a great time to remind everyone of safe sun practices. After all, the start of a new year means new resolutions, and what better resolution is there then promising to protect your skin? Preventing skin cancer and melanoma is the first step, and while skin cancer is not 100 percent preventable, there are a lot of things that you can do to help your odds.
The Melanoma Research Foundation reminds us that, “Approximately 65 percent of melanomas—the most deadly form of skin cancer and one of the fastest growing cancers in the United States—are attributed to ultraviolet (UV) exposure from sunlight or artificial sources such as tanning beds”. They go on to say that although melanoma can develop on areas of the body not exposed to the sun, your best bet is to slather on the sunscreen. This applies to even the cloudiest of days. Specifically they ask that we:
- Be sure to use a sunscreen that provides broad-spectrum protection from both UVA and UVB rays and has a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30. Look for ingredients in your sunscreen such as titanium dioxide and mexoryl, which block UVA rays better.
- Use enough sunscreen. To protect your entire body, use approximately an ounce of sunscreen (about a full shot glass) and apply it at least 20 minutes before sun exposure.
- Re-apply sunscreen every two hours and after swimming or sweating, even if the bottle says it’s waterproof or long lasting.
- Remember, wearing sunscreen is not a blank check for spending unlimited time in the sun. Sunscreen is just one component of sun safety.
We are also reminded to limit our sun exposure during the midday sun. At this time of day, the sun is at its strongest and is most harmful to us. The specific hours for this time are between 10am and 4pm. If you are planning on spending a long amount of time outdoors during these hours, check out a UV Index to see how at risk you are.