Skin Cancer: How To Take Care of Your Skin

Skin Cancer: How To Take Care of Your Skin


By Columbia Staff

Columbia Sportsgear

Make sure to cover up before you head outside to help prevent skin cancer.


Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States—and it can affect anyone, regardless of skin color, gender or age. Thankfully, it’s also one of the most preventable through simple behavioral changes.

“About 86 percent of melanomas and 90 percent of non-melanoma skin cancers are associated with exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays,” said Perry Robins, MD, president of The Skin Cancer Foundation. “That’s why embracing proper sun protection is critical year-round. You’ll reduce your skin cancer risk and help prevent wrinkles, leathery skin, and brown spots.”

As May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month, we bring you the following guidelines created by the Skin Cancer Foundation to help you stay sun-safe this summer.


Seek the shade, especially between 10 AM and 4 PM.


Do not let yourself burn. Your risk for melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, doubles if you have had five or more sunburns at any point in life.


Avoid tanning and never use UV tanning beds. Individuals who have used tanning beds ten or more times in their lives have a 34 percent increased risk of developing melanoma compared to those who have never used tanning beds.


Cover up. Clothing can be your most effective form of sun protection—the more skin you cover, the better. Look for clothing that offers some form of UPF sun protection and will also keep you cool.


Use a broad-spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher every day. For extended outdoor activity, use a water-resistant, broad-spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.


Examine your skin head-to-toe every month. See your physician every year for a professional skin exam.


For more information on how to take care of your skin and ways to help prevent skin cancer, please visit Skin Cancer Foundation’s website.


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