Summer Sun

written by Helio Zapata, MD

It’s that time of year again! While the summer is a great opportunity to enjoy the outdoors, it is important to be aware of the risks of sun exposure to prevent its potentially harmful effects.


–Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States, with about 76,000 new cases every year

–Most skin cancers develop as a result of exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays. Sources of ultraviolet rays include both the sun as well as tanning beds. The damage from UV rays build up over time.

–Anyone can get skin cancer, no matter the skin tone

–Most skin cancers can be prevented

Steps to reduce UV exposure (and therefore the risk of skin cancer)

  1. Seek shade, especially during the middle of the day when sunlight is most intense.
  2. Wear protective gear including a hat, sunglasses, and protective clothing.
  3. Use sunscreen with AT LEAST SPF 15. Make sure to REAPPLY sunscreen every 2 hours after swimming sweating, or toweling off.Source: