How To: Protect Yourself From Skin Cancer

By Meghna Kumar

As the weather warms up and excitement builds, it can be easy to get caught up in all the activities that we’ve had to put off over the winter. Whether you’re out running with a friend or hitting the pool, it’s important to protect your skin from the UV rays projected by the sun.

According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, “About 90 percent of nonmelanoma skin cancers are associated with exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun.” Although these numbers can seem intimidating, you can avoid being a statistic by taking these precautionary measures:

1) Use Sunscreen: applying sunscreen to your skin about 15 minutes prior to going out will help guard you from UVB rays. The Skin Cancer Foundation states that sunscreen with an SPF 15 filters 93% of UVB rays. SPF 30 keeps out 97%, and SPF 50, 98%. Many Bellbrook athletes already take this precaution. Varsity Cross Country runner Tori Fuenfgeld says, “I use sunscreen before every meet and practice.” And don’t forget to reapply after two hours!

2) Wear a Hat: decisions as simple as wearing a hat or covering your skin are measures you can take to defend your body from harmful rays. This is recommended for days that are especially sunny.

3) Avoid Tanning at UV Tanning Booths: tanning booths directly expose your skin to UV rays, with no protection. This can cause both nonmelanoma and melanoma skin cancers and many other types of cancers down the line. When you elect to stop tanning, you are electing to save your skin and your money.


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