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Before Heading Outdoors, Stay Sun Smart This Summer

Before heading to the beach this summer, be sure to take the necessary sun-safe steps.
Before heading to the beach this summer, be sure to take the necessary sun-safe steps. Photo Credit: The Valley Hospital

RIDGEWOOD, N.J. -- Highly treatable yet incredibly common, skin cancer's development can be largely attributed to lifestyle choices within our control. The most preventable and most dangerous of these factors is excessive sun exposure.

The most effective way to reduce the risk of skin cancer, regardless of skin type, is to protect skin against the sun’s harmful ultraviolet radiation with a broad-spectrum sunscreen. Sunscreen should be applied at least 20 minutes before going outdoors and reapplied every two hours, even on cloudy days, and after swimming or sweating.  Sunscreen protects against harmful radiation by absorbing, reflecting or scattering the sun’s rays on the skin.

In addition to applying sunscreen, even on cloudy days, taking the following steps can reduce the risk of contracting skin cancer:

  • When possible, wear protective clothing, such as a long-sleeved shirts, pants, wide-brimmed hats and sunglasses.
  • Seek shade when appropriate, remembering that the sun’s rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  • Protect children from sun exposure by having them play in the shade, wear protective clothing and apply sunscreen.
  • Use extra caution near water, snow and sand, as they reflect the sun's rays, increasing the chance of sunburn.
  • Get vitamin D safely through a healthy diet and vitamin supplements.
  • Avoid tanning beds. Ultraviolet light from the sun and tanning beds can cause skin cancer and wrinkling. If you want to look like you’ve been in the sun, consider using a sunless self-tanning product, but continue to use sunscreen with it.

An easy way to ensure that potential growths are identified early on is to check skin regularly for any changes. Foreign blemishes, growths or bleeding on your skin should warrant a trip to a dermatologist.

To help North Jersey residents detect and treat various skin cancers, Valley’s Blumenthal Cancer Center has enhanced its early detection services with the addition of MoleSafe, the world’s most advanced melanoma detection and surveillance program. MoleSafe’s program incorporates a suite of advanced melanoma detection and diagnostic tools and technology, including total body photography, digital dermoscopy and digital serial monitoring.

For more information about MoleSafe, or to book an appointment, click here or call 1-877-665-3723. To make an appointment with a Valley Medical Group dermatologist for a skin cancer evaluation, click here.

Daily Voice produced this article as part of a paid Content Partnership with our advertiser, Valley Health System

We are highly selective with our Content Partners, and only share stories that we believe are truly valuable to the communities we serve.

To learn more about Content Partnerships, click here.

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