With another “beach day” on tap Friday, doctors are urging beach goers on how to protect themselves and lower the risk of skin cancer.
According to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the rate of the deadliest type of skin cancer, melanoma, has doubled in the last 30 years.
Doctors says it’s more important than ever before to take preventative measures.
“Better detection, greater awareness, but some of it is probably also a real increase in the incidence of melanoma, partly related to changes in the ozone and increases in ultraviolet radiation coming to the surface of the other,” Dr. Jonathan Sporn with St. Francis Hospital said
Experts says the use of sunscreen can't be emphasized enough for adults and children. They added babies should have very little to no sun exposure.
"Infants under six months probably should not be out in the sun for any extended period of time,” Sporn said. “Babies' skins are very sensitive, so a lot of the sunscreens do have some chemicals in them that babies' skins can react to.”
Sporn says the sprays and lotions are equally effective, but you want to make sure you coat your skin. Sporn says a shot glass of sunscreen is a good measure of what you need and make sure to reapply every couple of hours.
Sporn says treatments for skin cancers are evolving, but he said it's still as important to protect yourself while in the sun by wearing sunscreen daily.
"Usually, once you get over about SPF 30, that's usually the protection level that's recommended. There's only a fairly minor increase in protection,” Sporn said.
Although Sporn says there is really no benefit to choosing a SPF above 30. However, he added make sure you're reapplying it every couple of hours, especially on a hot day or if you're in the water.
He also suggested wide-brimmed hats and limiting the amount of time you spend in the sun.
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