When summer fun becomes unhealthy. Here, what to look out for and how to protect yourself.



Skin cancer

It is the most commonly diagnosed form of cancer in this country, says the Canadian Cancer Societ. But if caught early, skin cancer is usually treated easily. Exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun (or from artificial UV light such as tanning beds) increases the risk for developing skin cancer. Other risk factors include:

— Light skin, eyes or hair
— Skin that burns or freckles easily
— Unusual moles that are irregular in shape or larger or darker than normal moles
— A family history of melanoma

Protect yourself by having regular skin screenings and wearing the appropriate sunscreen. For extra protection, wear a sunhat if you plan to be outdoors for an extended period of time, and keep in mind the sun’s peak hours are between 10:00 am and 4:00pm.

While some experts advocate for short periods of unprotected sunlight to help with Vitamin D deficiency, the key here is moderation: most experts agree you should not be unprotected for more than 10 or 15 minutes. (For more see, Get your Vitamin D.) Not sure which sunscreen is best for you? Try our tips for choosing the sunscreen that’s right for you.

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Cynthia Ross Cravit