BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Outdoor summer fun is important and so is sun safety. Unfortunately, sun exposure presents risk factors that can lead to skin or eye damage, and even skin cancer.
SUN SAFETY WEEK
- June 3 through June 9
Sun Safety Week is held annually on the first week of June to encourage you to protect your skin and your eyes from the sun. The goal is to educate people about the dangers of too much sun in order to stop the rising cases of skin cancer.
Skin cancer is the most common of all cancer types. Most skin cancers are caused by too much exposure to the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays.
Prevention and early detection are the best ways to keep your skin healthy. It's important to learn what you can do to protect yourself.
PRACTICE SUN SAFETY
- Use sunscreen (higher than 15)
- Wear clothing to protect your skin
- Wear wide-brimmed hats to keep your skin safe
- Find shade – or make it
- Protect your eyes by wearing sunglasses (that reduce UV rays)
- Visit your dermatologist regularly
According to the American Cancer Society, bug spray reduces sunscreen's SPF by 33 percent, so wear more protective lotion.
Get a professional skin examination from a dermatologist once a year, and learn how to perform a monthly self-examination. Skin self-exams do not require any special medical equipment. All you need are your eyes, a mirror, and the knowledge of what to look for.
EXAMINING YOUR SKIN (Source: CancerCare.org)
- Perform skin self-examinations in a well-lit room in front of a full-length mirror. Use a handheld mirror for hard-to-see places.
- Learn the pattern of your moles, freckles or other birthmarks so that you will notice any changes.
- Look for new growths, spots, bumps or sores that do not heal normally.
- Don’t forget hard-to-see areas of your body such as your head, the underside of your arms, the backs of your legs, and between your toes.
If you have any moles that fit the following criteria, ask your doctor to check them out.
ABCDEs of MOLES
- Asymmetrical: Is the mole oddly shaped?
- Border: Does the mole have irregular or vaguely defined borders?
- Color: Does the mole have uneven coloring or multiple colors?
- Diameter: Is the mole larger than a pencil eraser or is it growing in size?
- Evolution: Did the mole change over time?