Summer brings lots of outdoor activities. Taking steps to protect your skin should be among your top priorities.
According to the American Cancer Society, skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States and includes basal cell, squamous cell and melanoma. More skin cancer is diagnosed in the U.S. each year than all other cancer combined. An estimated 1,410 new cases of melanoma will be diagnosed in Kentucky in 2017. Melanoma accounts for the vast majority of skin cancer deaths, but when detected early it is curable.
High exposure to ultraviolet radiation or use of indoor tanning is a risk factor for all types of skin cancer. Risk is also increased for people with fair skin that burns easily, natural blond or red hair, and a history of excessive sun exposure. Children should be protected from the sun because severe sunburns in childhood may increase the risk of melanoma.
Here are some ways to help protect your skin and still enjoy time outdoors:
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▪ Choose sunscreens with broad spectrum protection (against both UVA and UVB) with a SPF of at least 30.
▪ Apply sunscreen generously. About 1 ounce of sunscreen should be used to cover the arms, legs, neck and face.
▪ Reapply every two hours.
▪ Don’t forget to apply sunscreen to your nose and ears.
▪ Wear a broad brim hat.
▪ Wear protective clothing.
▪ Seek shade, especially between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
▪ Ditch tanning beds.
▪ Wear sunglasses that block UV rays.
Baptist Health Lexington and Lexington Parks and Recreation have teamed up again this summer to provide information on sun safety. Please join us at the following pool events:
▪ noon to 4 p.m., June 7: Woodland pool — Wet and Wild Wednesday
▪ noon to 4 p.m., June 17: Castlewood pool — Neighborhood Association Day
▪ noon to 4 p.m., June 21: Tates Creek pool — Wet and Wild Wednesday
▪ noon to 4 p.m., July 5: Castlewood pool —Wet and Wild Wednesday
▪ 7-9 p.m., July 15: Tates Creek pool — Seniors Dip and Dance
▪ noon to 4 p.m., July 19: Southland pool — Wet and Wild Wednesday
▪ 8-11 p.m., July 22: Shillito pool — Dive-in Movie Night
▪ noon to 4 p.m., Aug. 5- Douglas pool — Back-to-School Bash
Enjoy your time in the sunshine, but remember to protect your skin from any harmful damage.
Suzanne Coulter, oncology clinical coordinator at Baptist Health Lexington, serves as leader of the hospital’s Sun Safety program at local public pools.