You may feel healthier with a bit of a tan, but your skin does not appreciate it. The sunlight that warms our bones and makes flowers grow contains ultraviolet (UV) radiation that can damage the skin.
Exposure to UV radiation from sunlight can lead to:
A dermatologist can check for unusual blemishes, moles, and other skin lesions for signs of cancer. Talk to your doctor about how often you should have regular screenings. They are painless and only take a few minutes.
This may include:
Protect Your Skin
In general, it is best to avoid spending too much time in the sun. If it is unavoidable, follow these guidelines:
Infants under 6 months should be kept out of the sun. They should wear lightweight, tightly woven clothing that covers their skin, and a hat. Sunscreen can be applied once your baby reaches 6 months of age. If you have questions about sunscreen use, talk to your baby's doctor.
Wear Protective Clothing and Sunglasses
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Weather Service put out the UV Index. This is a daily report on the UV radiation levels in different areas in the country. Here is how to interpret the number:
American Academy of Dermatology
The Skin Cancer Foundation
Canadian Dermatology Association
Canadian Cancer Society
Early detection and self exams. Skin Cancer Foundation website. Available at: http://www.skincancer.org/skin-cancer-information/early-detection. Accessed November 17, 2017.
Get in on the trend. Skin Cancer Foundation website. Available at: http://www.skincancer.org/prevention/sun-protection/clothing/get-in-on-the-trend. Accessed November 17, 2017.
Melanoma. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at:http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T115302/Melanoma. Updated October 16, 2017. Accessed November 17, 2017.
Should you put sunscreen on infants? Not usually. US Food & Drug Administration website. Available at: https://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm309136.htm. Updated November 6, 2017. Accessed November 17, 2017.
Skin cancer: prevention. Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: https://familydoctor.org/condition/skin-cancer. Updated July 2017. Accessed November 17, 2017.
Preventing skin cancer. Skin Cancer Foundation website. Available at: http://www.skincancer.org/prevention/sun-protection/prevention-guidelines. Accessed November 17, 2017.
Sunscreen FAQs. American Academy of Dermatology website. Available at: https://www.aad.org/media/stats/prevention-and-care/sunscreen-faqs. Accessed November 17, 2017.
UV index scale. United States Environmental Protection Agency website. Available at: https://www.epa.gov/sunsafety/uv-index-scale-1. Accessed November 17, 2017.
Last reviewed November 2017 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Michael Woods, MD, FAAP Last Updated: 11/17/2017