The ABC’s of Sun Safety

Summer is just around the corner.  As we break out the shorts, tank tops and swim suits, the uniform of the season, we need take key steps to stay safe in the sun. I call these the ABC’s of sun safety.

Today we’ll explore A – APPLY CORRECTLY.

For sunscreen to be effective it must be properly applied.  Follow these guidelines to avoid application mistakes that could result in sun burn or sun damage.

  • Apply sunscreen at least 30 minutes before heading outdoors.  Sunscreen needs time to properly absorb to be effective.  If you apply sunscreen and then immediately go outside, the protection you receive will be compromised.
  • Apply enough product. You need to apply at minimum 1 ounce of sunscreen to your exposed skin, approximately the amount of 1 shot glass (this is for the average woman/man).  Use a heavy hand.  Be VERY generous!
  • Apply to all exposed skin. Don’t forget your ears, back of the neck, and the top of your feet when wearing sandals.  All exposed skin or skin that can become exposed (such as around the neck line of your shirt) must be covered by the sunscreen.

Skin cancer is the most common of all cancers. It accounts for nearly half of all cancers in the United States.  More than 2 million cases of non-melanoma skin cancer are found in this country each year.*  The primary risk factor for skin cancer is unprotected and/or excessive exposure to UV radiation…that’s the technical term for the sun’s rays (other sources of of UV radiation include tanning beds and sun lamps).  Don’t become a statistic.  Daily, wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher.

* Source: American Cancer Society

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