With summer heating up it is important to protect your skin from harmful UV (ultraviolet) rays. Skin cancer is the most prevalent type of cancer in the United States and most commonly caused from UV damage. One in every five Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer at some point in their lifetime. Thankfully, skin cancer is preventable by taking caring of your skin. After all, our skin is our bodies’ largest organ and protects us against heat, sunlight, injury and protection, so it is important to take action to better our protection.
“It doesn’t take SPF 50 or SPF 100, just a simple SPF 30 thirty minutes before you go out in the sun to minimize your exposure,” said Terry Hennessee, a 24 Foundation rider who is battling skin cancer. “The more times you suffer a sunburn, the more likely you are to be that one person. Take the time to put on sunscreen. Cover up. And take it easy on the tanning beds, especially for the young folks.”
Terry is also a LIVESTRONG leader who talks to young people about the dangers of UV damage and provides them with information and pictures of skin cancer, as well as shares the resources available to those diagnosed. In addition to the tips Terry suggested, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services advises to:
- Seek shade during 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. During these times UV rays are their strongest.
- Reapply sunscreen to exposed skin every two hours, even on cloudy days and after sweating or swimming.
- Wear protective clothing, such as wide-brimmed hats, UV-block sunglasses, long-sleeve shirts and pants to protect yourself from harmful UV rays.