Protect Yourself From One of Summer’s Most Painful Hazards
National Skin Cancer Awareness Month is time to change your outdoor working habits
Memorial Day weekend heralds the beginning of the summer season. One painful hazard landscape and facility workers face this season is sunburn.
People who have suffered from severe sunburns are more likely to contract skin cancer, the most common cancer in the U.S., affecting one in five Americans in their lifetime, according to the American Academy of Dermatology (ADA). However, a survey from the ADA shows many Americans aren’t protecting themselves from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays when they work and play outdoors.
Among surveyed Americans most said they have gotten at least one sunburn, with 60% reporting the burn made it uncomfortable to wear clothes, 43% reporting it kept them from sleeping, and 21% admitting they were embarrassed about their sunburns.
Most skin cancers can be prevented by taking precautions in the sun. However, each year one in three U.S. adults gets sunburned. Every day about 9,500 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with skin cancer, and nearly 20 Americans die from melanoma — the deadliest form of skin cancer.
Throughout Skin Cancer Awareness Month in May, the AAD is encouraging Americans to practice the following tips to reduce their risk of skin cancer:
- Limit your time outdoors when the sun’s rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
- Wear sun-protective clothing, including a lightweight and long-sleeved shirt, pants, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses with UV protection, when possible.
- Apply sunscreen to all skin not covered by clothing,including your ears, neck, hands, feet, and lips. Use a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
- Be extra careful around water and sand, as these surfaces reflect the sun’s rays, increasing your chance of sunburn.