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We’re lucky to live in the beautiful Carolinas, from the beaches to the lakes, there’s always great things to do outside. But before you head into the summer sun, it’s important that you pay attention to your skin. Skin cancer is the most common form of all cancers and it accounts for nearly half of all cancers in the US. More than 2 million cases of non-melanoma skin cancer are found in this country each year. Now we know you can’t stay cooped up inside on these gorgeous Carolina days, but it’s important to practice sun safety. Here’s some helpful tips to know before you head outside:
-The sun’s rays are the strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. so avoid the sun at these times if possible.

-If you do venture out during those hours, be sure to cover up with long-sleeved shirts and pants. There’s a variety of wide-brimmed hats that look very fashionable if you’re on the beach or lake. Use a beach umbrella and wear sunglasses with UV protection.

-A lifetime of sun exposure can cause wrinkles, freckles, age spots and rough, dry skin so when you are outside, seek shade. Practice the shadow rule and teach it to children. If your shadow is shorter than you, the sun’s rays are at their strongest.

-Use sunscreen that’s SPF 30 or higher when you're in the sun. Apply generous amounts of broad-spectrum sunscreen with physical block at least 30 minutes before going outdoors and reapply every two hours, especially after heavy sweating or after being in the water.

-If you are near water or sand, use extra caution as they reflect the damaging rays of the sun and can increase your chance for sunburn.

If you notice any changes in your skin, make an appointment to see your dermatologist. 

By Dr. Marguerite Germain, Board Certified Dermatologist



Article by
Charleston Dermatologic Surgeon