CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - Let your Monday serve as a reminder that you should protect your skin from the sun.
The American Academy of Dermatology has set aside this day to raise awareness about skin cancer.
There will be many events focused on skin health, sun safety, tanning prevention, and skin cancer screenings and resources.
Cancer of the skin is one of the most common forms of cancer in the United States.
It is estimated that one person dies from melanoma — the deadliest form of skin cancer — every hour.
According to the American Cancer Society, About 76,380 new melanomas will be diagnosed (about 46,870 in men and 29,510 in women).
About 10,130 people are expected to die of melanoma (about 6,750 men and 3,380 women).
The rates of melanoma have been rising for at least 30 years.
Saint Francis Medical Center in Cape Girardeau offers free skin cancer screenings. You must make an appointment, though.
If you plan to be out in the sun, here are some tips to keep your skin safe.
Follow these tips to protect your skin from the damaging effects of sun exposure and reduce your risk of skin cancer:
- Apply sunscreen. When you are going to be outside, even on cloudy days, apply sunscreen to all skin that will not be covered by clothing. Reapply approximately every two hours, or after swimming or sweating. Use a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen that protects the skin against both UVA and UVB rays and that has an SPF of at least 30.
- Use one ounce of sunscreen, an amount that is about equal to the size of your palm. Thoroughly rub the product into the skin. Don’t forget the top of your feet, your neck, ears, and the top of your head.
- Seek shade. Remember that the sun’s rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. If your shadow is shorter than you are, seek shade.
- Protect your skin with clothing. When going outside wear a long-sleeved shirt, pants, a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses.
- Use extra caution near water, sand or snow as they reflect and intensify the damaging rays of the sun, which can increase your chances of sunburn.
- Get vitamin D safely. Eat a healthy diet that includes foods naturally rich in vitamin D, or take vitamin D supplements. Do not seek the sun.
- If you want to look tan, consider using a self-tanning product, but continue to use sunscreen with it. Don’t use tanning beds. Just like the sun, UV light from tanning beds can cause wrinkling and age spots and can lead to skin cancer.
- Check your skin for signs of skin cancer. Your birthday is a great time to check your birthday suit. Checking your skin and knowing your moles are key to detecting skin cancer in its earliest, most treatable stages.
If you spot anything changing, growing or bleeding, see your dermatologist.