Summer Sun Safety Tips!

Happy Wellness Wednesday!

Wellness Wednesday emails are designed to provide you with simple tools, information, and resources to encourage positive and healthy lifestyle choices. As a proud recipient of The Healthy Arizona Worksite Award, The Be Kind People Project is committed to the health and wellness of its employees, friends, and family.


Stay safe this summer

With the temperatures rising and the growing number of vaccinated Americans, you might feel tempted to get back to your favorite summer activities. Just don’t forget to continue protecting yourself and others, even if you’re fully vaccinated!

According to the CDC, skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States – over 5 million cases each year. Even though some forms of skin cancer are easily curable, they can still be disfiguring and costly. While the best way to protect your skin is to stay indoors, let’s talk about how you can stay safe if you choose to head outdoors!

Skin cancer prevention

The number one cause of skin cancer is overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays from sources like the sun or tanning beds. It only takes 15 minutes for UV rays to damage your skin! Here are some factors that affect UV exposure:

  • Time of day/year – 10 am to 4 pm are when UV rays are strongest, especially in the Spring and Summer.
  • Altitude – Higher elevations = more UV rays.
  • Cloud cover – UV rays still get through the cloud coverage on cloudy days!
  • Reflective surfaces – UV rays bounce off surfaces like water, sand, pavement, and even snow!

A great way to protect yourself before you step outside is by checking the UV index! Click here and enter your zip code to see the strength of UV light in your area.

Choosing the right sunscreen

A great way to defend yourself from UV overexposure is by using sunscreen – in addition to these sun safety tips! You may be asking “What should I look for in my sunscreen?” Here are some tips to keep you covered in the sun!

  • Look for “broad-spectrum”: Broad-spectrum sunscreen protects both UVA and UVB rays. UVB rays are what cause sunburns. UVA rays contribute to skin cancer as well as premature aging. Note: If a product is not broad-spectrum, it will still protect you from sunburn but not skin cancer and premature aging.
  • Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 30: The SPF number is the amount of protection from UVB rays. The higher the number, the better the protection! However, no sunscreen will completely protect you. For example, SPF 100 will filter out 99% of UVB rays. The American Cancer Society recommends at least SPF 30, which will filter out 97% of UVB rays!

It’s important to note that everyone should apply a layer of sunscreen for at least 15 minutes before stepping outside. While individuals with fairer skin tones are at a higher risk, people of color are still at risk of developing skin cancer. So don’t forget to layer up!


Check yourself

Thankfully, skin cancer is easy to spot – all you need are your eyes and a mirror! Most doctors recommend doing a self-exam at least once a month. For a step-by-step guide on how to do a self-exam, click here.

When conducting your self-exam, look for the ABCs!

  • Asymmetry: A part of the mole or birthmark that doesn’t exactly match the other.
  • Border: Blurred, irregular, notched, or ragged edges.
  • Color: Discoloration at the site. Colors may include various shades of brown or black, with patches of pink, red, white, or blue.
  • Diameter: A spot about ¼ inch in diameter or the diameter of a pencil eraser. However, it might appear smaller than that.
  • Evolving: Track changes in size, shape, or color.

Share your safety tips!

Regardless of whether you’re spending most of your time inside, running a quick errand, or spending hours outside, don’t let your skin take a back seat this summer. So love the skin you’re in, and protect it, this summer!

Do you have any sun safety tips that you want to share? Let us know!

Published on July 7th, 2021
By Krysta Flores, School Wellness Programs & Events Coordinator

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