It is important to understand what contributes to the risk of getting skin cancer and how to help prevent yourself, family and friends from developing it. Research has shown that overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation is the number one cause of skin cancer. UV radiation penetrates the skin and causes cell damage that can potentially develop into skin cancer over time. The major source of UV radiation exposure encountered on a daily basis is transmitted from the sun. Artificial sunlight, produced from tanning bulbs and lamps, also yields harmful UV radiation to the skin.

There are multiple ways to prevent overexposure to UV radiation. Limiting sun exposure, applying appropriate sunscreen often, wearing protective clothing and avoiding tanning bulbs/lamps are ways to keep your skin healthy and lower the risk of developing skin cancer.

If sun exposure is unavoidable, applying the appropriate sunscreen can help protect the skin from harmful UV radiation. Here are some key points to keep in mind when purchasing and applying sunscreen. The sunscreen should:

  • Have a SPF (sun protection factor) rating of at least 15
  • Be rated to protect against ultraviolet A and B sun rays
  • Be waterproof or water-resistant
  • Be shaken vigorously to ensure protection agents are distributed evenly
  • Be applied generously at least 30 minutes prior to skin being exposed to the sun
  • Be reapplied every 1-2 hours, especially after swimming or heavy perspiration
  • Be replaced if the expiration date has passed or if it was purchased more than 2 years from the current date

Other Important Information

Know Your Spots

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Statistics

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Dermatopathology

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Become a Spotter

Educate yourself to spot changes in the skin
that could potentially be a risk to your health.