SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) – Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial start of summer, whether you’re heading out to the beach or simply going out to enjoy the warm weather, skin protection should be at the top of your priority list.
It is extremely important for people to understand that when it comes to your skin, it is never too soon to start taking care of it. Protecting it against sun overexposure might be a good start, but not everyone knows how to do that effectively.
Protecting yourself against sun overexposure, preventing skin damage and even skin cancer is not just about making sure you’re applying sunscreen, although that’s a great start.
Dr. John McCann, an oncologist with Baystate Health, told Western Mass News the best start is understanding your skin and risk factors around you.
“It’s important to just raise awareness so that especially going into these holiday weekends when the sun is really strong, is really important to be aware of the potential damage that can occur related to the sun,” said Dr. McCann. “We want people out there exercising doing outdoor activities and taking fairly simple precautions can really prevent problems and still allow you to have all the fun you want to have on these summer weekends as they come up.”
But it is not just about the outdoor time on weekends. Even walking your dog on a daily basis could be a risk factor if the proper precautions are not taken. Dr. McCann also shared that we should all:
- Wear protective clothing – whenever possible
- Avoid sun exposure – especially between 10am and 4pm
- Wear sunscreen that is 15 SPF daily, and when you can’t avoid exposure, wear 30 or even 50 SPF.
- And lastly re apply suncreen at least every two (2) hours.
For some those steps are easy to remember.
“If I’m going to have short sleeves or shorts, I’m going to put the lotion on,” said Louis Monfette. “You have to because people get skin cancer.”
To others, remembering may begin with learning how to prevent skin damage.
“Try to get a better idea understanding, I understand that it could be something that’s serious,” said Melvin Colon. “So, you know me getting more knowledge helps me out and then I can probably help others out. Ill refer them to certain things that I use too.”
The American Cancer Society estimated that in Massachusetts, about 1,540 new cases of melanoma, the toughest kind of skin cancer will be diagnosed by the end of 2023. So, remember those recommendations this weekend, apply some sunscreen and then reapply some more.
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