4 Simple Ways to Reduce Your Skin Cancer Risk

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Skin CancerSpending time outside in the sun over the summer can be fun, but can be detrimental to your skin health in the long run. Luckily, there are a few ways you can reduce your risk of developing skin cancer while still having plenty of fun in the great outdoors.

1. Avoid Midday Sun

The sun’s harmful UV rays are at their strongest during the hours of 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Whenever possible, try to avoid prolonged sun exposure at this time, as your skin can burn much more quickly and more severely in the midday sun.

2. Wear Sun-Protective Clothing

If you’re going to be outside for long periods of time, make sure you bring along plenty of sun-protective layers. A wide-brimmed sun hat that shades your face and neck can be a great summer item to have on hand. Don’t forget to pack your 99 or 100 percent UV-blocking sunglasses, either.

3. Avoid Deliberate Tanning

It can be tempting to try to get a summer “glow” either from lounging in the sun or an indoor tanning bed. But since any amount of tanning is your skin’s response to sun damage, it’s not healthy and can put you at a greater risk for skin cancer. If you really want a tanned look without the risks, sunless tanning lotion or spray tans are a better alternative.

4. Use Sunscreen

Remembering to apply and reapply sunscreen throughout the day is the best way to keep your skin protected from the sun. Be sure to choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher. Keep in mind, too, that UV rays can penetrate clouds, so sunscreen is important even on cloudy or overcast days.