With over 40% of the U.S. population having received their first vaccine and the CDC easing restrictions for fully vaccinated individuals, more and more people are enjoying the outdoors.1,2 In addition to the safety measures that the CDC has urged us to implement to protect ourselves and others from Covid-19, it’s important to keep in mind that we need to take precautions to protect our skin, as well. May is Melanoma Awareness Month, and we here at Taproot Health have some tips to lower your risk of Melanoma, because the best way to beat cancer is to make sure it never happens at all. Here are some helpful tips to protect your skin this summer:
- Wear a sun hat. A hat will help keep you cool and safe by protecting your head and neck from the sun’s UV rays.3,4
- Cover up. You can help protect your skin by covering up with clothes. However, different fabrics will protect your skin better than others. Certain clothing companies offer an UV Protection Factor (UPF), a numerical score that tells you how effective the clothes are at blocking UV rays.3,4
- Sunscreen Sunscreen Sunscreen!!! Pay attention to the SPF when buying sunscreen. SPF 15 protects you from 93% of UVB rays, SPF 30 protects you from 97% of UVB rays, and SPF 50 protects you from 98% of UVB rays. This number is only true when the product is used as directed, so make sure to follow the application instruction on the bottle.3,4
- Put on some shades. Sunglasses help protect the sensitive skin around your eyes. However, not all sunglasses are made equal. Make sure to check the label to see how effective the shades are at protecting your eyes from UVA and UVB rays.3,4
- Stay cool in the shade. Keep cool and protect your skin by staying out of direct sunlight.3
- Be aware of man-made sources of UV Rays. Even though they’re indoors, tanning beds also produce UV Rays. There are topical sunless tanning options, such as sprays and lotions, that can give skin a warm glow without all the risks of UV ray exposure.5,6
- Enjoy the summer. Excessive amounts of sunlight exposure put a person at risk for Melanoma skin cancer. However, spending a moderate amount of time in the sun can actually be good for you. Exposure to UVB rays causes the skin to produce bone-strengthening Vitamin D. Sun exposure can even boost your mood by raising Serotonin levels in your brain.7
Have fun and stay safe!
- Weise E. As US nears vaccination tipping point, dramatic decrease in Covid-19 cases could come without herd immunity, some experts say. USA Today. 4 May 2021. https://www.usatoday.com/in-depth/news/health/2021/05/04/us-covid-19-vaccine-tipping-point-could-just-10-15-percent-away/4915586001/. Accessed May 7, 2021.
- When you’ve been fully vaccinated: how to protect yourself from others. CDC.gov. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/fully-vaccinated.html. Accessed May 7, 2021.
- Can Melanoma Skin Cancer be prevented? Cancer.org. https://www.cancer.org/cancer/melanoma-skin-cancer/causes-risks-prevention/prevention.html. Published 2019. Accessed May 7, 2019.
- How do I protect myself from ultraviolet (UV) rays? Cancer.org. https://www.cancer.org/healthy/be-safe-in-sun/uv-protection.html. Accessed May 7, 2021.
- Ultra-violet (UV) radiation. Cancer.org. https://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancer-causes/radiation-exposure/uv-radiation.html. Published 2019. Accessed May 7, 2019.
- Mayo Clinic Staff. Sunless tanning: what you need to know. Mayoclinic.org. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/sunless-tanning/art-20046803#:~:text=Is%20sunless%20tanning%20safe%3F,they’re%20used%20as%20directed.&text=If%20you’re%20going%20to,from%20inhaling%20the%20tanning%20spray. Published May 24, 2019. Accessed May 7, 2021.
- Legg TJ and Nall R. What are the benefits of sunlight? Healthline.com. https://www.healthline.com/health/depression/benefits-sunlight#benefits. Published 2019. Accessed May 7, 2021.