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Skin Cancer Prevention

Reduce UV Radiation

UV radiation from the sun and from sunlamps and tanning booths damages the skin and can lead to skin cancer. Everyone should try to reduce their risk of developing skin cancer by protecting the skin from UV radiation.
 

Suggestions for Skin Cancer Prevention

Recommendations to help prevent and reduce the risk of skin cancer caused by UV radiation include:
 
  • Avoid exposure to the midday sun (from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) whenever possible. When your shadow is shorter than you are, you should protect yourself from the sun.
 
  • If you must be outside, wear long sleeves, long pants, and a hat with a wide brim.
 
  • Protect yourself from UV radiation that can penetrate light clothing, windshields, and windows.
 
  • Protect yourself from UV radiation reflected by sand, water, snow, and ice.
 
  • Help protect your skin by using a lotion, cream, or gel that contains sunscreen. Many doctors believe sunscreens can help prevent skin cancer, especially sunscreens that reflect, absorb, and/or scatter both types of ultraviolet radiation. These products will be labeled with "broad-spectrum coverage." Sunscreens are rated in strength according to a sun protection factor (SPF). The higher the SPF, the more protection is provided. Sunscreens with an SPF value of 2 to 11 provide minimal protection against sunburns. Sunscreens with an SPF of 12 to 29 provide moderate protection. Those with an SPF of 30 or higher provide the most protection against sunburn.
 
  • Wear sunglasses that have UV-absorbing lenses. The label should specify that the lenses block at least 99 percent of UVA and UVB radiation. Sunglasses can protect both the eyes and the skin around the eyes.
 
  • People whose skin tans poorly or who burn easily may have an increased risk of developing skin cancer. These people in particular may benefit by following skin cancer prevention methods.
 
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