June 2-8th. – Sun Awareness Week
Since 1989, the Canadian Dermatology Association’s annual, nationwide Sun Awareness Week has helped educate Canadians about dangers of excessive sun exposure — and reduce the incidence of skin cancer in the country.
The National Sun Awareness Program is launched each spring and focuses on different age groups and activities. CDA member dermatologists generously volunteer their time each year to assist with public skin cancer screenings across the country, promoting the adoption of good sun safety practices and highlighting other important sun safety messages.
Here are some important tips for protecting yourself from the rays when you’re out and about in the summer sun.
Apply enough sunscreen all over
One sunburn can increase chances of melanoma. Experts recommend you rub in a golfball-size dollop of sunscreen lotion 20-30 minutes before you get out on the sun. Also, don’t forget to rub vigorously on your hands and feet and reapply every two hours.
Avoid spray sunscreens
Researchers are still trying to determine whether spray sunscreens emit fumes that are bad for your lungs. Stay on the safe side and stick to rub-on lotions for better control.
Look for products labelled “broad spectrum”
Although the term is still a bit hazy, “broad spectrum” ensures that your skin is protected from the sun’s ultraviolet B (UVB) rays and ultraviolet A (UVA) rays, which are huge skin cancer contributors. Don’t bother using any sunscreen with an SPF of over 50 – there has been no proven research that it will double or triple its effectiveness.
Limit time in the sun
Avoid the outdoors during peak ray intensity, especially between 10 am and 4 pm. For added protection on top of sunscreen, shield your skin with hats, shirts and light cover-ups.
No tanning oils or indoor tanning
This is a given. Launched by the CDA in 2010, the Indoor Tanning is Out Program is aimed to de-normalize behaviours and perceptions when it comes to fake tanning.
Be wary of water
Sunscreen may claim to be water-resistant but that’s not the same as water-proof. Check for labels that note a time limit before the sunscreen is ineffective and always reapply after being in the water.