May is National Skin Cancer Awareness Month and, with more than 300 days of sunshine annually, Arizonans are exposed to more UV rays than most Americans. The American Academy of Dermatology says one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetimes and every day nearly 20 Americans die from melanoma.

Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer with most cases are attributable to UV (ultraviolet) exposure. Every person—regardless of age, race or ethnicity—should use a daily sunscreen to help protect against UV rays.

Look for sunscreens with:

  • SPF 30 or higher
  • Broad-spectrum protection against UVA and UVB rays
  • Water resistance

How to apply sunscreen:

  • Most adults need about one ounce (equivalent to a shot glass) to cover their body.
  • Cover all exposed skin, including neck, ears, and top of the head.
  • Reapply every two hours when outdoors and immediately after swimming or sweating.
  • Use a lip balm that contains SPF 30 or higher.

When outside, try to:

  • Avoid direct exposure between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when the sun’s rays are strongest.
  • Wear lightweight long-sleeved shirts, pants, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses.
  • Be extra aware around water and sand because they reflect damaging rays, which can increase sunburn chances.

Did you know?

  • Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States.
  • About 9,500 Americans are diagnosed with skin cancer every day.
  • One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetimes.
  • One blistering sunburn in childhood or adolescence can nearly double a person’s chance of developing melanoma later in life.
  • Even on cloudy days, up to 80 percent of the sun’s UV rays can reach your skin.
Source: American Academy of Dermatology.

The experts at Affiliated Dermatology are available to discuss sun protection and skin cancer prevention and treatment. Contact us and schedule your annual full body skin screening today.