The National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention has designated the Friday before Memorial Day as “Don’t Fry Day”.

Protect Your Skin From the Sun’s Rays

Did you know that 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime? So, what can you do to ensure you are taking the necessary precautions to keep yourself and your family protected from the sun’s harmful rays? The best answer is to seek shade, wear sun protective clothing (UPF clothing, wide-brimmed hats and sunglasses), and avoid the sun when its rays are the strongest between 10AM and 2PM.

The Australia Cancer Council launched one of the most successful health campaigns back in 1981, coining the phrase “slip-slop-slap”. SLIP on a shirt, SLOP on sunscreen, and SLAP on a hat. This drastically reduced the number of skin cancers in young adults. A study showed the number of melanomas had fallen by 5% each year during the period from 1996-2010, in for people 20-24 years of age.

AAD Recommendations

The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommends using a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen (blocking UVA and UVB), with an SPF of 30 or higher. Ideally, this would be applied 15 minutes before going outside. The average adult needs 1 oz. (a shot glass) of sunscreen to adequately cover their body.  Sunscreen should be reapplied every 2 hours, or sooner when swimming or exercising. What about babies and toddlers?  The AAD recommends that babies under 6 months of age NOT be exposed to the sun’s rays. Protective UPF clothing and hats may be used to block the sun from harming their sensitive skin. Once the baby is over 6 months of age, sunscreen containing zinc oxide and titanium dioxide can be used.  These are less irritating to a baby’s tender skin. Sunscreen needs to be reapplied to babies at least every 2 hours.

For those of you with a family history of melanoma or if you have had multiple blistering sunburns, you are at a higher risk. If you notice any new or changing lesions or have any other questions regarding sunscreen or skin care, please call our office for an appointment at 402-413-7460 or contact us.

Jay Arthur, PA-C