Simple tips to protect yourself against skin cancer in the hotter months.

By: Amanda Anderson

It’s the “Show Your Body” season, and while we are all bum rushing stores like Victoria’s Secret, Old Navy, Bebe, and the department stores we love to find that perfect bathing suit, we should also take just as much time to protect ourselves from skin cancer. Skin cancer is a highly dangerous health condition, and doctors are now learning more and more about just how dangerous the effects are. More specifically, at least 11,000 people die from Melanoma (the most dangerous form of skin cancer) each year. The tried and true method we are all familiar with is to use a dependable sunscreen lotion, but there are many other methods of protecting yourself. Here are some pretty practical ways to reduce your chances of developing skin cancer.

1. Stay indoors during the peak hours.

From 11:00am to 3:00pm, the sun rays are the strongest. During these hours, it is crucial that you avoid spending long periods of time in the sun. You may be tempted to exercise earlier in the morning since it is usually cooler in the mornings during the hotter months, so be sure that you wear protective clothing and sunscreen lotion if you choose to exercise outdoors during these hours.

2. Know what to wear.

Protective clothing such as hats and sun glasses are great ways to cover your skin from UV rays. Most people may opt for baseball hats, but broad-brimmed hats are the best choice since baseball hats leave your neck, ears, and face exposed. It is even possible to purchase sunglasses that can block UV rays. Most sunglasses nowadays protect against UV rays up to 99%.

3. Pay attention to any changes in your skin.

Moles are some of the biggest indicators of skin cancer. If you develop any strange moles that may be irritated or bleeding, be sure to notify a doctor immediately. Skin irritation is a common symptom of skin cancer.

4. Don’t tan your skin.

Contrary to belief, it’s nothing healthy or beneficial about tanning your skin. Although we may naturally be women of color, some of us tend to tan during the summer months to get a natural glow. This is very dangerous and tanning alone is one of the greatest causes of skin cancer. Avoid buying tanning lotion for your summer vacay and instead opt to purchase sunscreen lotion instead.

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