Summer, Sun and Safety

  • Published
  • By Minda Parsons, Health Promotions Director
  • 21st Operational Medical Readiness Squadron

Summer is here and we are all in for a season of sweating and scorching heat. It is always a good time to put on sunscreen, however, summer is an especially good time to make sure you are covered. Protecting yourself from the sun’s rays can pay off for your health in the long run.

Skin cancer is on the rise in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates there were more than 71,943 people diagnosed with melanoma of the skin, the most serious form of skin cancer, in 2013 alone.

While melanoma accounts for only about 1% of all skin cancers in the U.S., it is the deadliest form of the disease. Reports estimate that 7,650 deaths from melanoma will occur in 2022 and over 65% will be men. Dr. Sondak, from the Mofitt Cancer Center, says these estimates of expected skin cancers are accurate.

Too much exposure to ultraviolet rays can have long-term adverse effects on your body. These include:

Properly utilizing sunscreen can help prevent the development of skin cancer. In general, the FDA recommends that you use broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher, even on cloudy days. Ensure you use your sunscreen correctly, by reading the label and ask a health care professional before applying sunscreen to infants younger than six months.