Posted : 09/16/2004
When summer finally arrives, it often means you'll probably be spending more time outdoors. Before you head out to the beach or golf course, however, you'll want to make sure that you're protected from the damaging effects of the sun.
What type of damage can sun exposure cause?
Sunlight consists of two harmful rays: UVA and UVB rays. Long-term UV exposure can increase your risk of developing skin cancer. As a matter of fact, studies have shown that just one or two severe sunburns during childhood increase the risk of melanoma--the deadliest form of skin cancer.
Other possible side effects of sun exposure include:
Who's at risk?
Everyone's skin is at risk for sun damage. And while light-skinned individuals are more at risk, darker-skinned individuals can also be affected. Additional risk factors include:
What you can do to stay safe in the sun
Skin cancer and other sun-related damage are preventable. Yet according to the American Cancer Society, an estimated 9,800 people will die from skin cancer each year. Before you head outside, take the following steps to ensure that you'll be safe in the sun:
Early detection is the key
If diagnosed and treated early, almost all types of skin cancer can be cured. According to the American Cancer Society, you should perform monthly skin self-exams and have a health-care professional or dermatologist perform a full-body skin examination every three years if you're between the ages of 20 and 40, or annually if you're age 40 or older.
Please note that this description/explanation is intended only as a guideline.
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