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.

Multiple articles of clothing should be worn if sun exposure is unavoidable. Though it is not always comfortable to wear clothing that covers the entire body during the summer months, it is important to wear what can be tolerated and apply sunscreen to areas of the skin that are left unprotected. Here are some characteristics and items of clothing that should be worn to help block out harmful UV rays from the sun:

  • Clothing should be tightly woven, dark in color and longer in length
  • Clothing should have a fabric rating of at least 50 UPF (ultraviolet protection factor)
  • Hats with a broad brim all the way around that provide shaded protection to the scalp, ears and face
  • Sunglasses to protect the eyes that block out both UVA and UVB rays
  • Footwear that covers the tops of your feet and toes

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.