Health Watch - Starting Summer: Sun Safety

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 the traditional start of the summer season with the Memorial Day weekend. Holiday weekend activities like trips to the beach, cookouts, softball games and picnics mean lots of time in the sun, which isn’t much fun for your skin.

Exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun can cause skin cancer, which is the most common cancer in the United States. Fortunately, this cancer is highly preventable. All you have to do is protect your skin from the sun. Dr. Rohit Sharma, a skin cancer expert at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says you can be safe in the sun by applying a broad-spectrum sunblock of SPF 15 or higher to all exposed skin whenever you go outdoors – even on cloudy days. Reapply every two hours, or more often if you’ve been swimming or sweating. Wear protective clothing, including a hat that shades your face, and try to stay out of the sun when the sun’s rays are strongest, between 10 in the morning and 4 in the afternoon.


May 2011

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