6 Tips For Preventing Skin Cancer

It may not be possible to avoid all types of cancer, but seniors can do a few things that will help to protect them from developing skin cancer. Most seniors enjoy being outside during the summer, but the rays from the sun can be damaging. Furthermore, sun protection is important all year round as ultraviolet (UV) rays can reach you even on cloudy and hazy days and can reflect off of surfaces like water, cement, sand, and snow. To avoid being at risk for skin cancer, the list below offers some useful tips for seniors during the summer months.


Try to avoid exposure to the sun between 10 in the morning and 4 in the afternoon in the late spring and early summer. This is when the UV rays are the strongest.


Always use a sunscreen (at least SPF 15 with both UVA and UVB protection) on all areas of the body that will be exposed to the sun. Put on another layer if you stay out in the sun for more than two hours, and after you swim or do things that make you sweat.


Seniors should wear light and airy clothing that will protect their skin from the sun and keep arms and legs covered as much as possible. A wet T-shirt offers much less UV protection than a dry one. Darker colors may offer more protection than lighter colors.


Wear a hat with a wide brim to shade the face, head, ears, and neck. A tightly woven fabric, such as canvas, works best to protect your skin from UV rays. Avoid straw hats with holes that let sunlight through. A darker hat may offer more UV protection.


Sunglasses that block UVA and UVB rays can be beneficial. They also protect the tender skin around your eyes from sun exposure and reduce the risk of cataracts. Wrap-around sunglasses work best because they block UV rays from sneaking in from the side.


During the midday hours, seniors should try to stay in the shade under an umbrella, tree, or other shelter before you need relief from the sun. If seniors will be outside for a long period of time them they should be in the shade as much as possible.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Protection

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