Health Watch - The Summer Outdoors: Sun Protection

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.


This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about what you need to know to enjoy sunny summer days outdoors without risking your health. Previously, we discussed how important sunglasses are for protecting your eyes from the sun. Your skin also needs protection.

More than a million cases of skin cancer are diagnosed each year in the United States. That’s half of all cancers, and skin cancer is on the rise, especially among young people. Dr. Rohit Sharma, a skin cancer surgeon at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says too much exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun is the most preventable risk factor for skin cancer.

To protect yourself, cover any exposed skin with a broad-spectrum sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher whenever you’re out in the sun, and reapply often. Don’t try to get a tan, either from sunbathing or using a tanning bed. Try to stay out of the sun between 10 in the morning and 4 in the afternoon, when the sun’s rays are strongest.

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July 2010


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