In honor of “May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month,” the DuPage County Health Department reminds residents to protect themselves from the sun, which can damage skin in as little as 15 minutes.
Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. Even if it’s cool and cloudy, you still need protection.
Take precautions against sun exposure every day of the year, especially during midday hours (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) when ultraviolet (UV) rays are strongest and do the most damage. UV rays can reach you on cloudy days, and can reflect off of surfaces like water, cement and sand.
The Health Department recommends these precautions:
- Seek shade, especially during midday hours.
- Cover up with clothing to protect exposed skin.
- Wear a hat with a wide brim to shade the face, head, ears, and neck.
- Wear sunglasses that wrap around and block as many rays as possible.
- Put on sunscreen with a sun protective factor (SPF) 15 or higher.
- Avoid tanning beds and sunlamps. The UV rays from them are as dangerous as the UV rays from the sun.