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Stay Sun-Smart: Shield Yourself from Skin Cancer

Summer is here, and with it comes the allure of sunny days at the beach, poolside lounging, and outdoor adventures. While the sun’s warmth feels delightful, it also brings a hidden danger: an increased risk of skin cancer. As you enjoy the sunshine, it’s crucial to stay sun-smart and protect yourself from the harmful effects of UV radiation. Here’s how you can shield yourself and your loved ones from skin cancer while still soaking up the summer vibes.

Understanding the Risks

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States, with millions of new cases diagnosed each year. The primary culprit? Ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun and artificial sources like tanning beds. There are three main types of skin cancer:

  • basal cell carcinoma
  • squamous cell carcinoma
  • melanoma

While basal and squamous cell carcinomas are more common and usually less severe, melanoma is rarer but far more dangerous.

Sunscreen: Your First Line of Defense

Sunscreen is a powerful tool in your sun-safety arsenal. Here’s how to use it effectively:

  1. Choose the Right Sunscreen: Opt for a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. Broad-spectrum sunscreens protect against both UVA and UVB rays.
  2. Apply Generously: Most people don’t use enough sunscreen. You need about one ounce (a shot glass full) to cover your entire body. Don’t forget often-missed spots like your ears, neck, and the tops of your feet.
  3. Reapply Regularly: Sunscreen wears off, especially if you’re swimming or sweating. Reapply every two hours, and immediately after swimming or excessive sweating.

Seek Shade and Wear Protective Clothing

While sunscreen is essential, it shouldn’t be your only defense:

  1. Seek Shade: Especially during the peak sun intensity hours from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Use umbrellas, trees, or other shelters to reduce direct exposure.
  2. Wear Protective Clothing: Long-sleeved shirts, pants, and wide-brimmed hats can provide a physical barrier against the sun. Look for clothing with a UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) label for added protection.
  3. Don’t Forget Sunglasses: UV radiation can also harm your eyes. Wear sunglasses that block 100% of UVA and UVB rays to protect your vision.

Avoid Tanning Beds

Tanning beds emit UV radiation that can be even more intense than the midday sun. Using tanning beds increases your risk of developing skin cancer significantly. Embrace your natural skin tone and opt for sunless tanning products if you desire a bronzed look.

Regular Skin Checks

Early detection is crucial in the fight against skin cancer. Regular self-examinations can help you spot potential issues early:

  1. Know Your Skin: Become familiar with the pattern of moles, freckles, and other marks on your skin so you can notice any changes.
  2. Look for the ABCDEs: Watch for Asymmetry, Border irregularity, Color changes, Diameter larger than a pencil eraser, and Evolving size, shape, or color in moles.
  3. See a Dermatologist: Schedule regular skin check-ups with a dermatologist, especially if you have a history of sunburns, a family history of skin cancer, or notice any suspicious changes in your skin.

Educate and Advocate

Spread awareness about sun safety among friends and family. Encourage others to adopt sun-smart habits and share information on the risks of UV radiation and skin cancer prevention.

To learn more, check out this summary from Mayo Clinic.

Enjoying the sun safely requires a combination of strategies: using sunscreen, seeking shade, wearing protective clothing, avoiding tanning beds, and performing regular skin checks. By staying sun-smart, you can significantly reduce your risk of skin cancer and still enjoy the beautiful weather. Remember, the best tan is your skin’s natural, healthy glow.

Incorporating Zinc into our daily routine is a highly beneficial practice that promotes skin health and helps minimize the risk of acne. To conveniently meet this requirement, the Asher Longevity Institute offers Twice Daily Multi supplements that are rich in Zinc. By including these supplements in our daily regimen, we can effectively enhance our overall well-being and enjoy the advantages of healthy skin.


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All information and recommendations on this site are for information only and are not intended as formal medical advice from your physician or other health care professionals. This information is also not intended as a substitute for information contained on any product label or packaging. Diagnosis and treatment of any health issues, use of any prescription medications, and any forms of medical treatments should not be altered by any information on this site without confirmation by your medical team. Any diet, exercise, or supplement program could have dangerous side effects if you have certain medical conditions; consult with your healthcare providers before making any change to your longevity lifestyle if you suspect you have a health problem. Do not stop taking any medication without consulting with the prescribing doctor.