Most people understand that spending too much time in the sun can cause premature aging but are often less aware of its association with skin cancer. They often do not think about protecting their skin during the winter or on a rainy day because they assume the sun is not dangerous then. The reality is that the sun’s UV rays can be intense even when the temperature is below zero or it has not stopped raining for three days.
When in doubt about potential skin damage due to the sun, navigate to the Environmental Protection Agency website and enter your ZIP code under the UV Index Search section. The results will return a number between 1 and 11 that helps you determine your sun exposure risk for the day. Here is what each range of numbers means:
The CDC recommends taking active steps to protect your skin anytime the UV Index is 3 or higher.
Be certain to follow each of these guidelines to protect your skin from UV-ray damage:
The CDC and SCF also recommend that adults visit a dermatologist at least once a year for a professional skin check. Those with more than a few risk factors or who have had skin cancer in the past may need to schedule more frequent appointments.
Sources: What Can I Do to Reduce My Risk of Skin Cancer? | CDC Skin Cancer Prevention – The Skin Cancer Foundation | UV Index Search | US EPA
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