But melanoma, the third most common skin cancer, is more dangerous. About 65%–90% of melanomas are caused by exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light from sunlight, tanning booths and sunlamps. Roughly 9,480 Americans will die of melanoma this year.
Not only does overexposure to UV rays cause cancer, it can also age your skin prematurely and cause eye problems such as cataracts.
First, let’s talk about sunscreen. Believe it or not, it’s a good idea to use sunscreen all year round, not just during the summer or at the beach, because UV rays from the sun can reach you even on cool, cloudy and hazy days.
A half hour before you go outdoors, apply a thick layer of sunscreen of at least SPF 15 to all exposed parts of your skin. Most people apply only a quarter to a half of the sunscreen they need. Follow the “shotglass” rule: apply enough every time to fill a shotglass, which is about one ounce.
Make sure you reapply sunscreen if you’re out in the sun for more than two hours, go swimming or do anything that makes you sweat. In fact, if you’re spending the day at the beach, you should apply a total of a quarter to a half of an eight-ounce bottle.
You can also seek shade under an unbrella, tree or other shelter. Wear loose-fitting long-sleeved shirts and long pants made with tightly woven fabric. Put on a hat with a brim all the way around that shades your face, ears and the back of your neck. And wear wrap-around sunglasses that block both UVA and UVB rays.ShareThis