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Indiana University

Simple steps for skin safety

Two news stories put skin cancer and skin protection top of mind for me this week. The New York Times’ “For a Boomer, Sunscreens Came Late and Cancer Came Too Soon” drove home the potential consequences (disfigurement, plastic surgery) of skin cancer. WebMD’s “Sunscreens Not Created Equal: Consumer Reports” discusses tests results for effective sunscreens – cost doesn’t indicate quality.

fishingLawrence A. Mark, M.D., an assistant professor of dermatology at the Indiana University School of Medicine and a physician-researcher at the IU Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center, offered these tips along with tips for spotting cancer.

  • Apply sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. Mark explained SPF this way: If your skin begins to redden after being in the sun for one minute, you could expect to be in the sun for 30 minutes while wearing an SPF of 30 before you see the same amount of reddening.
  • Wear appropriate clothing, such as a wide-brim hat, long-sleeved shirt and long pants.
  • The sun’s rays are strongest from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; limit long periods of time outdoors during these hours.

This Health & Vitality post discusses summer and sun eye safety issues. I’m still trying to get my younger kids to wear sunglasses!

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