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10 Tips to Reduce Your Risk of Skin Cancer

by kelly / May, 7 2014 01:30

May is an important month for us here at Block Island Organics because it's Skin Cancer Awareness month. In honor of this month here are a few tips we compiled from the Skin Cancer Foundation, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the American Cancer Society to help prevent skin cancer.


Why is skin cancer prevention so important?  Well, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation, each year more than 3.5 million people are diagnosed with skin cancer and over 90% of these diagnoses are caused by the sun's UV rays.  Skin cancer is also the most common from of cancer in the United States.  Those are all big statistics and that is why at Block Island Organics we believe strongly in suncare education.


Here are a list of 10 tips to help you reduce your risk of skin cancer:

  1. Wear a broad spectrum sunscreen SPF 15 or higher everyday.
    A broad spectrum sunscreen will protect against both UVA and UVB rays.  SPF 15 or higher will prevent at least 93% of UVB rays.  You'll also likely need to apply sunscreen more than once a day.  For example, the Skin Cancer Foundation recommends reapplying every 2 hours or more if you are swimming or experiencing excessive sweating.  It goes without saying that we believe strongly in this tip! 

  3. Avoid indoor tanning such as tanning beds, tanning booths and sun lamps.
    The CDC considers indoor tanning, as well as tanning in general, to be very dangerous.  According to the CDC, "Indoor tanning has been linked with skin cancers including melanoma (the deadliest type of skin cancer), squamous cell carcinoma, and cancers of the eye (ocular melanoma) the United States, indoor tanning is estimated to cause about 419,000 cases of skin cancer every year. For comparison, smoking is thought to cause about 226,000 cases of lung cancer every year." 

  5. Don't burn.
    Sunburns increase your risk of developing melanoma, a form of skin cancer, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation.  The next time you feel your skin redden, we'd suggest getting out of the sun. 

  7. Cover up with clothing.
    The American Cancer Society suggests "comfortable clothes made of tightly woven fabrics that you cannot see through when held up to a light." 

  9. Wear a hat.
    Preferably a hat that provides shade for your face, head, ears and neck. 

  11. Wear sunglasses with 99% to 100% UV absorption.
    Yes don't forget about your eyes, they need protection as well.

  13. Seek the shade during midday hours.
    The sun is the strongest between the hours of 10am-4pm.

  15. Keep newborns out of the sun.
    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Skin Cancer Foundation recommend that infants 0-6 months avoid the sun.  Here is a recent blog post we wrote about sun protection for babies and kids.

  17. Examine your skin every month.
    These exams shouldn't replace an exam with your doctor but it's good to look at the skin on your entire body every month to check for changes in moles or appearances of new ones.  The Skin Cancer Foundation provides information on how to perform a self-exam.

  19. See your doctor for a professional skin exam every year

I hope this information was helpful and reach out if you have any questions.

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