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Overexposing yourself to the sun increases your risk for skin cancer, which is the most common cancer in the United States, with almost 5.5 million cases each year. That's more than breast, colon, lung and prostate cancers combined.
"COVID-19 has forced Americans to remain indoors, and many people are anxious to get back to outdoor activities with some stay-at-home orders being lifted," said Dr. Laura Makaroff, senior vice president of prevention and early detection at the American Cancer Society (ACS).
"As more people get outside, practicing social distancing and avoiding crowded areas is still very important to reduce the risk of COVID transmission, and it is also important to not forget the risks of sun exposure and sunburn and take appropriate steps to protect your skin," Makaroff said in an ACS news release.
You can reduce the risk of skin cancer by:
- Not intentionally getting a sunburn or tan -- no tan is a safe tan.
- Apply lots of broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least 30 SPF (sun protection factor).
- Wear sun-protective clothing and broad-brimmed hats.
- Seek shade from between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the sun is strongest.
- Use extra caution near water, snow and sand.
-- Steven Reinberg
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