Are you hitting the beach this summer? Then read on…

Beach season is almost here. Yesterday, the high was already 90 degrees in Charleston, and many are hitting the water and beaches to soak up the sun. But before you head outside, know some sun safety tips that can help you. 

Skin cancer is the most common form of all cancers and it accounts for nearly half of all cancers in the US. More than 2 million cases of non-melanoma skin cancer are found in this country each year. 

Melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer but if it’s caught and treated early, it’s almost always curable. However, if you wait too long, the cancer can spread to other parts of the body where it becomes hard to treat and can be fatal. 


The American Cancer Society estimates that at present, about 120,000 new cases of melanoma are diagnosed in the US in a year. In 2010, about 68,130 of these were invasive melanomas…in 38,870 males and 29,260 females.  So ladies, just like you’re vigilant about putting on the SPF please make sure your boyfriend or husband or significant other is too. 




These statistics aren’t here to scare you, they’re here to help you understand that taking care of your skin in vital. So follow these simple tips….



Sun safety tips: 


-The sun’s rays are the strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. so avoid the sun at these times if possible.  
-If you do venture out during those hours, be sure to cover up with long-sleeved shirts and pants. There’s a variety of wide-brimmed hats that look very fashionable if you’re on the beach or lake.  Use a beach umbrella and wear sunglasses with UV protection. Read The Skin Cancer Foundation’s 

-A lifetime of sun exposure can cause wrinkles, freckles, age spots and rough, dry skin so when you are outside, seek shade. Practice the shadow rule and teach it to children. If your shadow is shorter than you, the sun’s rays are at their strongest.
-Use sunscreen that’s SPF 30 or higher when you’re in the sun. Apply generous amounts of broad-spectrum sunscreen with physical block at least 30 minutes before going outdoors and reapply every two hours, especially after heavy sweating or after being in the water. 
-If you are near water or sand, use extra caution as they reflect the damaging rays of the sun and can increase your chance for sunburn. 
-If you notice any changes in your skin, make an appointment to see your dermatologist. 
Marguerite Germain