HIGH POINT, N.C. -- UV rays and sun exposure can cause cumulative skin damage over time; it is also linked to skin cancer. Therefore, it is always important to protect your skin and eyes when out in the sun to help prevent sun damage, skin cancer and other sun exposure-related health conditions. When spending time outdoors this summer, be sure to wear a wide-brimmed hat to protect your scalp, ears and face, sunglasses to protect your eyes from UV rays and dark colored clothing, as UV rays can penetrate light-colored or white clothing.
And of course, always wear sunscreen when spending time outdoors! Key guidelines to remember when applying are to use a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of thirty or higher, apply generously thirty minutes before going outside and continue to re-apply throughout the day. People are often curious about what the different SPF’s mean—15 SPF protects against 93 percent of UV rays, 30 SPF protects against 97 percent of UV rays and 50 SPF or higher protects against 99 percent.
With one in five Americans developing some form of skin cancer in their lifetime, and 3.5 million cases of skin cancer diagnosed in the U.S. each year, it is extremely clear why sun safety is of upmost importance. Cone Health Cancer Center understands the importance of early detection and treatment of skin cancer, and is offering free skin cancer screenings throughout the month of May to the individuals in the community who have not seen a dermatologist or participated in another skin cancer screening within the last year. Visit www.conehealth.com/classes to find out upcoming dates and screening locations.
Christine Brannock is the oncology outreach manager at Cone Health Cancer Center. Christine earned a Bachelor of Science in public health education from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 2001, and an associate degree in nursing at Guilford Technical Community College in 2004. She has been an employee at Cone Health for thirteen years.