July is UV Safety Awareness Month

Protecting your skin throughout all stages of your life is essential. July is UV Safety Awareness Month, and summer is the perfect time to remember how vital sun safety is. Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States, and 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer before the age of 70. When you learn the potential risks associated with excessive sun exposure, you can take the right precautions to protect you and your family.

Sun Safety Tips

The sun emits radiation in two forms, known as UV-A and UV-B rays. Each type can damage your eyes and skin. UV-B rays reach the outer layer of your skin, and UV-A rays penetrate your skin’s middle layer. Unprotected sun exposure can lead to skin cancer, premature aging of the skin, and vision issues. Let’s look at some tips to keep safe in the sun this summer:

  • Sunscreen– Having 5 or more sunburns doubles your risk of melanoma, and it only takes 15 minutes for damage to occur on unprotected skin. Apply a sunscreen with a broad-spectrum SPF factor of 15 or higher before you go outside and even on cloudy or cooler days. Reapply as directed.
  • Shade-Take regular breaks under a tree or umbrella. Don’t wait until you need relief.
  • Clothing-Long sleeves and pants made of tightly woven fabric with dark colors offer the most sun protection. If those aren’t available, using a beach towel can help in a pinch.

Early Detection Saves Lives

When caught early, the 5-year survival rate for melanoma is 99 percent. At home, check your skin regularly head to toe for any changes. Have your dermatologist do an annual skin check and report anything concerning or unusual immediately.

Annual skin checks are vital to keeping you and your family safe. To get your skin checked at ForCare, call (813) 960-2400 or request an appointment here.