Protecting your skin during a pandemic

Published on May 4, 2020

Updated on April 28, 2021

Protecting your skin during a pandemic

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the Unites States. One in every five people will develop a form of skin cancer by the age of 70, but this statistic could drastically be reduced, since skin cancer is one of the most preventable cancers. While people continue to self-quarantine and self-isolate during the COVID-19 pandemic, one of the best daily escapes is getting outdoors.

Whether you’re heading out for a stroll around the block, a family bike ride or a soccer game in the backyard, we urge you to protect your skin along the way. Without sunscreen, the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can damage your skin in as little as 15 minutes—so while a much-needed walk may seem innocent enough (and it’s important to stay active!), you need to consider your skin every time you head outdoors.

Protecting your skin from the sun is important year-round, regardless of the weather or season. UV rays can reach you through clouds, light clothing, windshields and windows, and they can also be reflected by sand, water, snow, ice and pavement. This means you could be exposed to UV radiation and not even realize it.

Simple ways to protect yourself from skin cancer:

  • Use sunscreen and lip balm with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher, with both UVA and UVB (broad spectrum) protection.
  • Stay in the shade, especially during midday hours.
  • Wear clothing that covers your arms and legs.
  • Wear a hat with a wide brim to shade your face, head, ears and neck.
  • Wear sunglasses that wrap around and block both UVA and UVB rays.
  • Completely avoid indoor tanning.
  • Examine your skin once a month. Tell your health care professional about skin changes

This month is Skin Cancer Awareness Month. Stay healthy by showing your skin some love and protecting yourself from powerful UV rays.

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