Exposure to UV light, either directly from the sun or in tanning beds and booths, can cause cancer of the skin. This type of cancer is one of the most prevalent and accounts for many deaths every year around the world. There are different types of skin cancer and all respond well to treatment if they are found, diagnosed and treated at an early stage.
However, with regards to skin cancer, a person can take some simple steps to lower their exposure to UV rays and lessen their chances of developing this condition.
Know When the Sun Is Strongest
Although it is easy to suggest avoiding the sun when it is at its strongest, this can be a little difficult to put into practice. As the sun moves through the sky, it heats different parts at different times. For example, places to the East will feel the sun's heat earlier than places in the West. If you are on vacation, the hottest point of the day can vary quite a bit, depending on which country you are in.
There is one rule you can learn to help you, regardless of where you are. The sun is at its strongest and hottest when the shadow it casts is smaller than you are. This means that the sun is directly above you and will be emitting the highest amount of radiation, or UV rays. Avoid being in the sun at this time of the day, wherever you are.
Ban Baseball Caps
If you have a family, avoid buying baseball caps instead of proper hats. Brimmed hats provide much better overall protection from UV rays. The back of the neck, the ears and the face all receive protection and shade from a brimmed hat. Caps will shade the head and part of the face, but little else.
If your child prefers to wear a baseball cap, make sure to apply sun lotion to the exposed areas. An even better idea would be to encourage your child to wear the brimmed hat in sunny weather and the baseball cap in wet or rainy weather.
Remain Vigilant on Cloudy Days
Many people either don't realise or remember that the UV radiation from the sun can pass through clouds and into the skin. It is easy for a person to do, as when the sun is not out and shining, you can think that you won't pick up any rays from it. However, most of the rays do get through the clouds and it is possible to become sunburnt on days that are not sunny. Try to keep this in mind when the weather is overcast or cloudy, and take action to avoid prolonged exposure when outside.
Tanning beds and booths should be avoided too; you can darken the tone of your skin with safe lotions that wash off with water and soap. For tips on prevention or treatment, consult resources like Sun Patrol Skin Cancer Clinic Pty Ltd.