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Summer time is here, and that usually means more days spent outside, and with the longer summer days, more hours spent in the sun. That means it is time to think about protecting your skin from the damaging affects of over-exposure to sunlight.

According to the Surgeon Generals Skin Cancer: Quick Facts website, there are more than 63,000 new cases of the deadliest form of skin cancer diagnosed in the US each year, resulting in approximately 9,000 deaths:

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  • Skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the United States, with 5 MILLION PEOPLE treated each year.
  • Treatment for skin cancer costs $8.1 BILLION each year in the United States.
  • Anyone can get skin cancer. Although those with lighter skin are at higher risk of getting skin cancer, people with darker skin may often be diagnosed with skin cancer at a later stage, making it difficult to treat.
  • Most skin cancers can be prevented—but we aren’t doing enough.
  • More than 1 out of every 3 Americans reports getting sunburned each year. Sunburn is a clear sign of overexposure to UV (ultraviolet) rays, a major cause of skin cancer.
  • More than 400,000 cases of skin cancer, about 6,000 of which are melanomas, are estimated to be related to indoor tanning in the U.S. each year.

For more facts on skin cancer check out the “The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Prevent Skin Cancer“, which provides some very sobering statistics about skin cancer rates, and a lot of very helpful information about how to take skin cancer seriously. Get the facts and keep yourself and the kids safe this summer.

Your first thoughts about protection from the sun may be about getting sunscreen, but according to an article On the Mayo Clinics website, sunscreen should be considered to be an important component in a broader strategy to protect your skin from the sun:

Focus on the big picture when it comes to sun safety. For example:

  • Avoid the sun during peak hours. Generally, this is between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. — regardless of season. These are prime hours for exposure to skin-damaging ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun, even on overcast days.
  • Wear protective clothing. This includes pants, shirts with long sleeves, sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat.
  • Use sunscreen. Apply sunscreen generously and reapply regularly. Research supports the benefits of using sunscreen to minimize skin damage from the sun’s rays.

With some common-sense preparations you can have a blast outside this summer, without damaging your skin. Be informed, not a statistic.


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