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How to prevent and protect your skin against skin cancer

Using and reapplying sunscreen and wearing sun protective clothing can block the sun's harmful rays
Published: Jun. 20, 2022 at 8:34 PM CDT
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - As the days get warmer and people go outside more often, Aspirus Dermatologist Stepehen Lewellis said it’s important to remember to protect your skin so you don’t end up with sun poisoning or skin cancer.

This time of year is more common for people get more damage to their skin from being in the sun more often. Lewellis said wearing sunscreen is one effective way to protect your skin.

“It’s good to be wary of the sun all year round but certainly this time of year it’s even more important because the UV index tends to be higher and we do tend to spend more time in the sun,” said Lewellis.

There are two types of sunscreen. The first is mineral, also referred to as physical sunscreen.

“They’re good for people who have very sensitive skin and may have sensitivity to some of the chemicals,” said Lewellis.

If you look at the ingredients it will contain zinc oxide. Titanium dioxide is another ingredient in many. They reflect UV rays. The second type of sunscreen is chemical.

“Chemical blockers can be very effective as well. As long as they say broad-spectrum on the label, meaning you’re getting coverage against UV-A and UV-B,” said Lewellis.

You should wait 30 minutes after applying it to go in the sun. Chemical sunscreens are better for swimming or sweating. Dr. Lewellis said it’s best to reapply regardless of the kind you use.

Wearing sun-protective clothing and avoiding direct exposure are peak times are other ways to help prevent serious burns.

If you notice your skin changing rapidly, blemishes growing fast, or bleeding Dr. Lewellis said those are all red flags of potential skin cancer and you should get your skin checked.

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