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The weather is warming up and so is our desire to be in the sunshine! Whether you are headed to the beach, lake or pool or spending time in your garden, make sure you’re protecting your skin from the harmful rays of the sun that can cause skin damage or cancer.

Find the shade

The sun is at its strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. so be extra vigilant of your skin during those hours and find shade if you can. A nice tree, an umbrella, tent or arbor make the perfect resources!

Avoid burning

Your skin can burn even if you are in the shade, in the car, or next to a window. Apply sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) every couple of hours. Even if you don’t feel your skin burning, it is being exposed to harmful rays. And, burns can often take several hours to show up!

Never ever ever ever use UV tanning beds

We could keep using those “never ever’s” forever. Tanning beds have been estimated to cause more than 400,000 cases of skin cancer each year, and they increase a person’s chance of getting skin cancer by 59%. If you’re looking for that beautiful tan, consider sunless spray tans instead.

Cover up

We know it’s hot – especially here in the south! However, if you know you’ll be in a place that doesn’t offer much shade, take a lightweight pullover to minimize exposure. But remember, you can still burn through fabric – especially if it’s white – so be sure to continue applying plenty of sunscreen.

Check yourself out

Skin cancer can pop up at any time, but early detection is key. Each month, take a close look at your skin head to toe. Pay attention to any new moles, dark spots or burns that appear. If anything seems unusual, be sure to make an appointment with your dermatologist as soon as possible to have it checked out by a professional. Always err on the side of caution – it’s better to be safe than sorry!

Schedule an appointment

Visit your dermatologist at least once a year – every six months if you or blood relative has a history of skin cancer – for a full body scan.

We hope these skin cancer facts and preventative measures are helpful as you head into the spring and summer!