(CARLSBAD, CA) – Trips to the beach, picnics in the park, and other adventures in the great outdoors may be on your agenda this summer. But, all of this fun in the sun can equate to dangerous rays penetrating your skin, increasing your risk for melanoma or other forms of skin cancer.
One in five Americans will suffer from some form of skin cancer in their lifetime. Caucasians have an increased risk. Yet, fewer Americans are using sunscreen in recent years, according a national survey conducted by the Sun Safety Alliance.
As you make plans for outdoor ventures this summer, try these skin safety tips from Judi Sheppard Missett, founder and CEO of Jazzercise, Inc.
- Apply sunscreen liberally. Most people use sunscreen too sparingly, leaving skin vulnerable to the sun’s strongest rays. A safe amount is one ounce, about the size of a shot glass, to cover all parts of your body.
- Plan ahead. Don’t wait until the last minute to don your sunscreen before heading outdoors. The Mayo Clinic recommends applying sunscreen 30 minutes before going outside, then reapplying every two hours.
- Don’t neglect sunscreen on cloudy or hazy days. The sun’s UV rays can penetrate cloud coverings, so lather up your skin with SPF protection every morning, regardless of the weather.
- Watch the clock. Stay out of the sun between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. The sun’s rays are strongest during that time frame, so schedule your outdoor excursions earlier or later in the day.
- Read your labels. The next time you nab a bottle of sunscreen, remember that not all sunscreens are created equal. Look for a broad-spectrum sunscreen. While many sunscreens only protect against UVB rays, the broad-spectrum ones offer protection against both UVA and UVB radiation.
- Don’t be fooled by SPF. The number on the bottle does not indicate how long you can stay in the sun. So, just because you use an SPF 30 or 45, it doesn’t mean that you can bask in the sun for hours. An SPF 15 simply means that it offers about 93 percent protection against UVB rays, while an SPF 30 filters out approximately 97 percent of UVB rays.
- Cover your head. Consider a wide-brimmed hat to keep your face and head safe. A two- to three-inch brim is best.
- Choose your sunglasses carefully. Wider lenses can offer protection for the sensitive skin around your eyes, as well as your eyes themselves.
- Protect your kids. Children typically get three times more sun exposure than adults. Make sure they wear an SPF 30 or higher on a daily basis.
More than 1.2 million new cases of skin cancer are diagnosed every year in the United States. Make sure you are not one of those statistics by following these simple tips for outdoor safety. Making a few small changes in your daily routine can block the sun, but not the fun!
Jazzercise, created by Judi Sheppard Missett, is the world's leading dance-fitness program with more than 7,500 instructors teaching 32,000 classes weekly in the U.S. and around the globe. Since 1969, millions of people of all ages and fitness levels have reaped the benefits of this comprehensive program, designed to enhance cardiovascular endurance, strength, and flexibility. For more information on Jazzercise go to jazzercise.com or call (800)FIT-IS-IT or (760)476-1750.