Special reports only on KOLD: Sun Sense

Summer is here and so is a dangerous risk, the sun.
The desert sun can lead to damage beyond repair if without the proper use of sunscreen. 
The reality, is one in five people will get skin cancer in their lifetime, meaning the time is now to protect themselves from the dark side of the sun.
Last year, there were nearly 600 cases of skin cancer reported in Tucson, and more than 3.5 million across the United States.
Dr. Michael Huether of the Arizona Skin Cancer Surgery Center said skin cannot be taken for granted, so it is important to protect it in multiple ways.
For the doctor, skin cancer is personal and professional.
"I've had skin cancer touch my family; both my father and sister have had skin cancer - so it’s real for our family," he said.
Here's what he suggested to reduce the risk of developing skin cancer:

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Sun Sense

  • Minimize sun exposure during the most sun-intense times of the day: 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Seek shade whenever possible
  • Avoid tanning booths
  • Get to know your own skin, examine it regularly

Sunscreen

  • Get in the habit of using broad-spectrum sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 30 that blocks both UVA and UVB light on a daily basis
  • When spending a lot of time outside (for more than a few minutes), apply a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher
  • Keep a bottle of sunscreen in your car, golf bag, or backpack for last-minute sun activities
  • Studies have shown that applying sunscreen 20 to 30 minutes before going out in the sun is critical because there is a lag time between application and when it actually begins working - the 20 to 30 minutes of unprotected sun exposure may be enough to get burned
  • Many apply far too little sunscreen, which has the effect of drastically decreasing the SPF of the product applied
  • Do not listen to commercials, there is not one type of sunscreen that is good for everyone, it is best to test out several to see which one works best for your skin
  • Apply sunscreen at least every two hours, focusing on the face including the ears, eyelids and lips

Sun protective gear/clothing

  • Buy sunglasses that block UVA and UVB rays
  • Wear a broad-brimmed hat
  • Long sleeve shirts and pants also provide a physical block of the sun
  • The denser the weave of the clothing and the darker the color, the better the protection
Several manufacturers make and sell sun protective clothing, including Uvida UV. It is designed to offer full UPF 50 (Ultraviolet Protection Factor), but also be lightweight and stylish. Uvida can be found at dermatology and plastic surgery offices, Canyon Ranch, Miraval, as well as resorts and country clubs in the south and southwestern U.S. 

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