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After our harsh winter, it is hard to believe – but I think warm sunny weather has finally arrived. If your family is anything like our family, summers are busier than the school year. My daughter will be taking five animals to fair this year. Therefore, over the next several months she will be spending some time outside breaking her animals. My daughter gets tired of me reminding her to apply sunscreen every two hours. I try to limit her time in the sun to only in the evenings and encourage her to wear long sleeve shirts. I do these things so that she is safer from sun damage.

Do the sunny days make you wonder about skin cancer or sun damage? Here are some stats about skin cancer:

  • Skin cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in the United States.
  • There are three types of skin cancer: basal cell, squamous cell and melanoma.
  • Early detection is the key in diagnosing and treating skin cancer.

This graphic helps you see the ABCD’s of Melanoma:

Look at your moles for any of these irregularities:

A – Asymmetrical – irregular or unbalanced

B – Border – irregular border

C – Color – color variation

D – Diameter – is the diameter bigger than a pencil eraser?

S – Sensation

Remember if you notice any of these irregularities, be on the safe side and contact your health professional.

If you must be out in the sun, what can you do to protect your skin?

  • Stay out of the sun as much as possible between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  • Wear protective clothing and a hat (long sleeves offer some protection).
  • Use a broad spectrum sunscreen with 30 spf (sun protection factor).
  • Watch for drug interactions with the sun because some drugs make you more prone to sunburn.
  • Be careful on cloudy days – even if it is cloudy, you can still get sun damage.
  • Avoid indoor tanning and UV tanning booths.
  • Do not burn.
  • Apply 1 ounce (2 Tablespoons) of sunscreen to your entire body 30 minutes before going outside.
  • Reapply every 2 hours, immediately after swimming, or excessive sweating.

Remember to check your skin regularly for changes. Visit your health care professional or dermatologist to get any suspicious mole or skin blemish checked out.

Still curious and want more info?

What can you do to stay Sun Safe? Share your ideas in our comment section. 

 References:

Take Steps to Prevent Skin Cancer

https://healthfinder.gov/HealthTopics/Category/parenting/safety/steps-to-prevent-skin-cancer

Sun’s Up – Cover Up: Sun Safety Skin Cancer Prevention PowerPoint, OSU Sun Safety Team, 2012

 

Written by: Brenda Sandman-Stover, Extension Program Assistant, 4-H and Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Greene County, sandman-stover.1@osu.edu

Reviewed by: Michelle Treber, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Pickaway County, treber.1@osu.edu

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