Improving Health


Sun-Smart Strategies: Best Tips to Prevent Skin Cancer

Posted by CareATC on July 18, 2023

230718_CATC-BP-WellnessSummer is in full swing which means you’re spending more time working and playing outside under the hot sun. While you’re soaking up the rays, it is crucial to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays. Too much exposure to UV rays can damage your skin cells. Short-term damage can cause sunburns and continued damage over time leads to changes in skin texture and sometimes skin cancer. 

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer, affecting millions of people worldwide. By protecting your skin from sunburns, your skin will stay healthy longer and you’ll decrease your risk of skin cancer. We’ve compiled some of the best sun-safe behaviors to protect your skin from too much UV exposure.

Seek Shade

One of the simplest yet most effective ways to minimize sun exposure is by seeking shade, especially during peak sun hours between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. UV radiation is strongest during these times, increasing the risk of sunburn and long-term skin damage (Skin Cancer Foundation 2022). If you're outdoors, look for shade under trees, umbrellas, or canopies to provide a physical barrier between your skin and the sun.

Wear Protective Clothing

Wear appropriate clothing for sun protection—opt for lightweight, tightly-woven fabrics that cover your arms, legs, and torso. Wide-brimmed hats can protect your face, neck, and ears, while sunglasses with UV protection shield your eyes from harmful rays. Remember to choose clothing and accessories with a UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) rating for added sun protection (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2023).

Apply Sunscreen

Fight sunburns with SPF! Be sun-smart and select a sunscreen with broad-spectrum protection that guards against both UVA and UVB rays (American Academy of Dermatology Association, 2023). Apply a generous amount of sunscreen with an SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of 30 or higher to all exposed areas of your skin, including the ears, the back of the neck, and the tops of your feet. Reapply every two hours, or more frequently if you are swimming or sweating.

Be Mindful of Tanning

It's essential to understand that tanning, whether through sun exposure or indoor tanning beds, significantly increases your risk of developing skin cancer (American Academy of Dermatology Association, 2023). The popular misconception that a tan equates to healthy skin is not true. A tan is a sign of skin damage caused by UV radiation. Embrace your natural skin tone and opt for alternatives like self-tanning products if you desire a sun-kissed appearance.

Perform Regular Skin Self-Exams

Early detection is key to successful treatment of skin cancer. Perform regular skin self-exams to identify any changes in moles, freckles, or spots on your skin. Look for asymmetry, irregular borders, changes in color or size, and evolving or new growths (Skin Cancer Foundation 2022). If you notice any concerning changes, consult a dermatologist.

Preventing skin cancer requires adopting sun-smart behaviors and making them a part of your daily routine. Remember, protecting your skin from harmful UV radiation is not limited to sunny days but should be practiced year-round, even on cloudy or overcast days. Follow these tips to avoid damaging UV exposure and, instead, keep your skin healthy and glowing. 


American Academy of Dermatology Association. (2023). How To Prevent Skin Cancer. Retrieved from

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2023). What Can I Do to Reduce My Risk? Retrieved from

Skin Cancer Foundation. (2022). Skin Cancer Prevention. Retrieved from

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