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Take the Burn Out of Outdoor Fun
Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States. And melanoma is the most common cancer among young adults between 25 and 29.
“If you’re spending time in the sun, help protect your skin from harmful solar radiation by using a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30,” says John Griffin, MD, FAAD, a board-certified dermatologist. “While enjoying outdoor activities, be sure to apply sunscreen liberally at least 20 minutes before exposure and reapply every two hours and after swimming.”
Dr. Griffin also recommends trying to avoid sun exposure between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. when ultraviolet (UV) rays are strongest. He says it’s important to apply sunscreen and wear sun-protective clothing even on overcast days, as enough UV rays can penetrate clouds to deliver skin-damaging sunburns.
“Besides being painful, too much sun can damage skin in ways that increase your chances of developing melanoma – a form of skin cancer that’s potentially deadly if left untreated,” concludes Dr. Griffin. “If you get sunburned, apply cool compresses to affected areas. In case of severe sunburn, call your doctor.”
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