To make sunscreen most effective, apply it 20 to 30 minutes before stepping outside. For best results, most sunscreens need to be reapplied every two hours and after swimming, sweating heavily or toweling off. | File photo
Updated: June 23, 2013 6:14AM
The Friday before Memorial Day is “Don’t Fry Day.”
As a proud member of the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention, the American Cancer Society is reminding people to protect their skin on Don’t Fry Day and every day.
Although skin cancer is the most common of all cancers, many skin cancers can be prevented if people do what they know works.
Protecting skin is easy and only requires a few simple actions each day, such as making sure you bring along:
A wide-brimmed hat
A broad-spectrum sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher
Lip balm with SPF
An umbrella for shade
Long-sleeved, lightweight, tightly woven shirts and pants
A list of museums or other indoor sites to visit during the sun’s peak UV hours from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Knowing the correct way to apply sunscreen is a crucial step in a sun-safety routine.
To make sunscreen most effective, apply it 20 to 30 minutes before stepping outside. A palm-sized amount of sunscreen should be enough to cover an average adult’s arms, legs, neck and face. For best results, most sunscreens need to be reapplied every two hours and after swimming, sweating heavily or toweling off.
What about sunglasses? Research has shown that spending hours in the sun without protecting your eyes increases your chances of developing eye disease. UV-blocking sunglasses can help protect your eyes from sun damage.
The ideal sunglasses don’t have to be expensive, but they should block 99 percent to 100 percent of UVA and UVB radiation. Check the label to make sure they do.
Labels that say “UV absorption up to 400 nm” or “Meets ANSI UV Requirements” mean the glasses block at least 99 percent of UV rays. Sunglasses labeled “cosmetic” block about 70 percent of the UV rays.
If the sunglasses don’t have a label, don’t assume they provide any protection. Darker glasses are not necessarily better because UV protection comes from an invisible chemical applied to the lenses, not from the color or darkness of the lenses.
Large-framed, wrap-around sunglasses are more likely to protect your eyes and the delicate tissues around them from light coming in from different angles.
Children need smaller versions of real, protective adult sunglasses — not toy sunglasses.
Check your local UV Index, a scale from 1 to 11+ that measures the amount of ultraviolet radiation reaching the ground each day. The higher the number on the scale, the greater your risk is for UV exposure. On a high UV day, UV rays can begin to cause sun damage to a fair-skinned person within minutes without skin protection such as sunscreen.
Remember, protecting yourself from the sun reduces the risk of skin cancer. Although many skin cancers can be treated successfully, some can be very serious.
Information is at (800) 227-2345 or cancer.org.