15 Sun Safety Tips To Help Prevent You From Ever Having Skin Cancer


Most of us love sunshine and we love any opportunity we have to soak up the sun and bask in it’s warmth.  It feels wonderful on your skin, making you feel warm and cozy and heated through.  It looks beautiful and some of the most beautiful artwork in all of the world features pictures of sunrises and sunsets.  But there is a great danger in the sun’s rays which is why we need to follow sun safety tips.  The sun can cause premature aging but even worse than that is that it can cause skin cancer.  It is very important to follow sun safety tips to help prevent you from ever having skin cancer.  These sun safety tips will help you to have healthier skin and a longer life.

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1. Say No To Tanning Beds

Our culture believes that having a tan is a beautiful look, and it looks very attractive on some people.  Some people go to great lengths to get a tan, including one of the most dangerous actions they can take, going to a tanning bed.  Tanning beds are extremely dangerous since they deliver the harmful rays we need to avoid at a much higher concentration which is why safety tip number two is to avoid tanning beds.  If you simply must have a tan, go for safe options like getting a spray tan or using self tanners.  You also have the option of simply embracing your natural skin color that is your unique coloring.

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2. Wear Sunscreen Daily

Most of us falsely believe that sunscreen is important on hot summer days or days when you will be outdoors for a long period of time.  But the truth is that we should wear sunscreen everyday, not just on those occasions when we will experience the powerful sunshine or an extended amount of time outdoors.  We get a lot of sun exposure by simply going about our daily routines that include things like walking to the mail box or back and forth to our cars.  Sun safety tip number three is to wear sunscreen everyday, not just on the occasions that you feel is needed.  It does take a bit of tweaking to get in this habit but this sun safety tip is a very important one to follow.

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3. Wear SPF 30 Or Higher

Not only is it important to wear sunscreen daily but it is important to wear a high enough SPF.  For most people, this means at least SPF 30.  Those with especially fair complected skin should wear a higher SPF such as SPF 50 or SPF 75.  The higher the number, the more protection you are getting.  While you are purchasing the right SPF, also be sure to go for a good brand.  Most dermatologists recommend Coppertone as their sunscreen of choice.  If you are going to be doing any activities that involve water, it is important to get waterproof as well.  This sun safety tip is an important bit of information since many people are not wearing sunscreen correctly.

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4. Reapply Sunscreen Every 2 Hours When Outdoors

Sunscreen is not something that should just be applied once a day and you are good to go if you are going to be spending any time outdoors of length.  Sunscreen wears off.  It is important to reapply your sunscreen every 2 hours when you are out for extended areas of time to be sure to avoid a sunburn.  Take care to watch a clock so that you are not having lapses in the days you spend outdoors where you have no sun coverage on.  This sun safety tip is one that we tend to be forgetful about or laid back about.  We think it is not important to reapply because we put sunscreen on once but it is actually very important.

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5. Use Extra Caution Near Water

This sun safety tip involves the fact that you need to be extra vigilant any time you are around water.  This includes time spent at the pool, out on the lake or the beach.  Even activities where you are not directly in the water such as building sandcastles with your children or fishing in a boat require extra attention to prevent a burn.    The reason for this is that water will reflect the sun’s rays and give you a stronger exposure than if you were elsewhere in the sun.  You can use extra caution by being sure to follow each of these sun safety tips so that you do not go home with a sunburn or damage to your skin that could later be skin cancer.

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6. Be Careful Not To Miss Anywhere When Applying Sunscreen

When you are applying sunscreen, of course you remember to apply it to the length of your arms and legs and any exposed back or tummy areas that are showing.  But it is very easy to miss a part of your skin only to discover later on that you have a sunburn where you neglected to apply sunblock.  Areas often missed include the hands and fingers, the feet and toes, ears and the part in our hair.  These are not areas that we typically give much thought to but they can burn as easily as any other area of your body.  Following this sun safety tip and being cautious to not miss any areas that are easily forgotten will pay off in the long run.

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7. Don’t Go For That Base Tan

There is very common misconception that getting a base tan is a good idea and will prevent you from burning later in the summer.  Many people try to get sun exposure in this way, thinking that if they do it a little bit at a time that they will not get sun damage.  But a base tan isn’t safe.  It isn’t as bad as a sunburn but it isn’t good for you.  Any tan is your body’s way of saying that it is now being defensive against the sun because it fears more damage is coming.  Don’t fall for this misconception.  Follow these sun safety tips so that you have the healthiest skin you can possibly have.

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8. Avoid The Sun From 10 am to 4 pm

The sun is strongest from 10am to 4pm so that is the time that you should try to plan around being outdoors.  If you are on vacation, try to schedule activities for those hours that are indoor to keep you out of the direct and strongest sunlight of the day.  Choose to spend your evenings doing outdoor activities such as going to the beach, looking for seashells or whatever other outdoor activities your family enjoys.  If there are times that you absolutely cannot plan around the strongest hours of sunlight, it is that much more important to be careful to follow all of the other sun safety tips to be sure you do not have damage to your skin.

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9. Don’t Be Fooled About Vitamin D

Many people believe that they need to have so much sun exposure to get the vitamin D that a body needs.  While it is true that our bodies need vitamin D to stay strong and healthy, there is no need for added sun exposure to get it.  The short amount of time that you are outside each day just walking where you need to go will add up.  There are also other forms of acquiring your Vitamin D such as a healthy diet and supplements.  These are much safer alternatives to adding extended sun exposure to your day.  The risk simply isn’t worth it.  This is a very easy sun safety tip to follow once you realize you can get the Vitamin D you need in plenty of other, safer ways.

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10. Beware Medications That Increase Sun Sensitivity

There are certain medications that will make your skin more sensitive to sunlight and more susceptible to a sunburn.  Many times, when you have to take a medication that increases sun sensitivity, there will be a warning label on the bottle.  It is always important to read all of the warning labels because they are necessary and contain important information.  There are occasions that your medication bottle might not be labeled and the information is within the information pamphlet that accompanies your medication.  This sun safety tip is one that doesn’t only involve the sunshine and your activity while outdoors but the extra caution you should use in combination with your medications.

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11. Wear Protective Clothing

One of the best things that you can do when you know you are going to be outside for an extended period of time is to wear protective clothing.  Any clothing that covers your skin will work but there are also clothing options that contain SPF to increase the protection.  Many people do not want to do this because they feel it might make them overly hot and that is a reasonable concern.  But there are many fabrics now that are very breathable or moisture wicking, meaning that they are designed to soak up the sweat your body produces and dry quickly so that you are kept very comfortable.  This sun safety tip is one not many people follow and later regret that they did not.

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12. Wear A Wide Brimmed Hat

Wearing a wide brimmed hat is a sun safety tip because it helps to shield your face from the damaging rays of the sun that will cause aging and possibly, skin cancer.  It helps by keeping your face shaded so that it does not take a direct hit from the sun.  While this is a very good sun safety tip, it does not mean that they other sun safety tips such as wearing sunscreen and avoiding the hours of the day the sun is strongest should be dismissed.  This is meant to be used in combination with all of the other sun safety tips.  Wide brimmed hats have become very popular and it is now very easy to find a stylish hat.

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13. Wear Wide Sunglasses

Were you aware the that skin around your eyes is the thinnest on your body and therefore, the skin most susceptible to sun damage?  It will more than likely be the first place you notice aging on your skin in the form of wrinkles and even age spots.  You can prevent this by wearing sunglasses with wide temples that shield that delicate area of skin.  Over-sized sunglasses are a great option to wear.  They are also very trendy and stylish right now and are available practically everywhere from the local dollar store to the best designer lines.  This sun safety tip is often followed out of vanity but is very important, regardless.

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14. Do A Monthly Self Skin Check

Just as you should do a monthly self-breast exam, you should do a monthly self skin check.  It can be helpful to do them at the same time to help you remember not to forget either one.  You can do a monthly self skin check by looking your skin over thoroughly and completely.  If there are any spots that look odd or off to you, make an appointment with your dermatologist immediately.  If you see a spot that only concerns you mildly, take a picture of it and compare it next month when you do your self skin check to see if there are any changes.  It is always best to get an expert’s opinion, though.

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15. See Your Dermatologist Once A Year

It is important to see your dermatologist once a year and let them look your skin over for any spots that might need attention.  Even if you are careful to do your self skin checks each month, it is best to let a professional eye look your skin over annually to be sure that there is nothing you are missing.  They have been trained to catch the first sign of an abnormality while the average person has not.  Of course, you should make an appointment immediately in between your yearly checkups if there is any sign of trouble with your skin.  This sun safety tip can save your life.  It is important to follow all of the sun safety tips for the best results.

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