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Skin Cancer
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Sun Avoidance

Avoiding sunshine can help prevent most types of skin cancer.
  • Plan your outdoor activities so you can avoid the intense, mid-day sun between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.
  • Whenever possible, seek shade.

You do not have to avoid the sun altogether. Learn how to protect your skin from the sun's harmful rays and practice "sun protection" and "sun safety" whenever you can. Cover up with sunscreen and protective clothing and be sensible about how much time you spend in the sun. These steps can help greatly reduce your risk of developing skin cancer.

Learn more about:

Other tips:
  • Avoid the sun between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.
  • Whenever possible, seek shade.
  • Use a broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30.
  • Reapply sunscreen at least every two hours. You should apply it more frequently if you have been swimming or sweating.
  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat and if possible, tightly woven, full-length clothing.
  • Wear UV-protective sunglasses.
  • Wear lip balm with sunblock with an SPF 15 or higher.
  • Avoid sunlamps and tanning salons.
  • Be aware that the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays can reflect off water, sand, concrete and snow, and can reach below the water's surface. Certain types of UV light penetrate fog and clouds, so it is possible to get sunburns even on overcast days.
  • If you are taking an antibiotic or other medications, ask your health care professional if it may increase your skin's sensitivity to the sun.

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Updated: May 4, 2007
This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or health care provider. We encourage you to discuss with your doctor any questions or concerns you may have.
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