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Sun protection is an important precaution to guard against skin cancer and reducing signs of aging. Each year, there are over 1 million new cases of skin cancer in the U.S.
To help protect your skin from the damaging effects of UV rays:
- Use sunscreen.
Choose a sunscreen that has sun-protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher that screens out both UVB and UVA rays. Always use plenty of sunscreen, and reapply as directed on the package label.
- Wear protective clothing.
Clothing offers protection against UV rays but small amounts can pass through fabrics that are loosely woven or wet.
- Plan outdoor activities for less sunnier times of day.
Plan outdoor activities for early morning, late afternoon or evening whenever possible.
- Seek shade when outside.
This reduces the potential for sun damage; however, even shaded areas can contain UV rays bent by the atmosphere.
- Avoid tanning booths.
There is no such thing as a safe tan from a tanning booth. If you want a tan, consider using sunless tanning products.
- Inspect your skin regularly.
Early detection is important. Look for changes in your skin, including moles.
It is never too late to start protecting your skin.
Mayo Clinic Minute: The ABCDE melanoma test
In this video, dermatologist Juan-Carlos, Martinez, M.D., explains how to check your moles using the ABCDE melanoma test:
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Not all treatments, tests and services are available at all Mayo Clinic Health System locations. Check with your preferred location in advance.