According to Bonkers Hoffler, wrinkles and tan lines look better on puppies than they do on you.
With summer approaching, it’s important to remember to take steps to protect your skin. “Skin cancer is the most common cancer diagnosis and the most preventable cancer,” said Bonkers on her walk through the Prevent Cancer office, “Most skin cancer is caused by damage from the sun’s UV rays (ultraviolet radiation).”
This year, an estimated 76,100 people will be diagnosed with melanoma—the most dangerous type of skin cancer—and over 9,710 will die of the disease.
- Get your supplies: SPF 30 or higher sunscreen and lip balm, and sunglasses treated to absorb UV radiation. An ounce (or a palm full) of sunscreen should be applied 20 minutes before going out in the sun. Reapply every two hours. (Bonkers recommends setting an alarm so you don’t forget.)
- Limit your time in the sun. Research indicates that we only need 15 minutes of sun exposure a day to our face, arms and hands to get the benefits of Vitamin D. “Don’t go spoiling a good thing!” said Bonkers.
- Don’t use tanning beds. Indoor UV tanners are 74% more likely to develop melanoma.
- Watch what you wear. A wide brim hat and clothing made of tightly woven material with long sleeves offer the most protection from the sun.
- Be especially careful to protect children from the sun. Childhood/teenage sunburns significantly increase the risk of melanoma later in life.
- Pay attention! Look at your skin once a month and tell your health care professional if anything looks off. Bonkers suggests the ABCDE rule.
- Talk to an expert. Have your health care professional examine your skin once a year after age 50.
If you’re not doing it for your health, do it for your physical appearance. Sun safety will not only protect your health and potentially prevent cancer, but make you look better. Tanning causes wrinkles and age spots. It’s not cute like these puppies.