The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that between two and three million cases of non-melanoma skin cancer and 132,000 cases of melanoma occur globally each year. Key risk factors include sun exposure, a history of sunburn (yes, even acute sunburn in childhood or during the teenage years can increase the risk), a family history of skin cancer, having fair skin and precancerous lesions.
So, how can we protect ourselves? There are a handful of ways, but one of the most important ways is practicing sun safety. Dermatologist DR EILEEN TAN offers some suggestions:
• Avoid sun exposure as much as possible, especially between the hours of 10 am and 4 pm.
• Wear sunscreen of at least SPF30. Apply one ounce (two tablespoons) of sunscreen to your whole body 30 minutes before going out. Then, reapply every two hours, or after swimming or excessive sweating.
• Wear protective clothing like a lightweight long-sleeved shirt, pants, a broad-brimmed hat and UV-protection glasses.
Does wearing a higher SPF mean you can spend more time in the sun?
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