The sun is beating down hard and UV exposure is the greatest between May-August.  Summertime is a great time to spend outside in the sun, but it is important to remember to be safe about it.

July is UV Safety Month, but your safety in the sun should be practiced all year round.  The sun has many benefits such as helping your body produce Vitamin D, lowering blood pressure, easing mild depression, and helping certain skin disorders such as psoriasis, acne and eczema.  Getting sun also has some harmful features, and not just causing wrinkles.  Moderation is important, and covering up when possible is a smart idea to protect you from the cancer-causing UV rays.

Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that is commonly associated with the sun’s UV rays.  Skin cancer is more common amongst Americans than any other kind of cancer, and 75% of deaths related to skin cancer are because of melanoma. The early signs of melanoma are when an existing mole changes in shape or color, or if a new one appears.  During later stages in melanoma, the mole may itch or even bleed.  Dermatologists recommend looking out for several warning signs: Asymmetry, Borders (irregular), Color (variegated), Diameter (greater than 6 mm), and Evolving over time.  The most dangerous form of melanoma is nodular melanoma, and for this, you should look out for Elevated above the skin surface, Firm to the touch, and Growing.  It is possible that if you miss those symptoms, you may still feel nausea, loss of appetite, vomiting, and fatigue.

We at Devon International Group care about your safety, so we have made a list of 5 tips that will help you protect yourself from the harmful rays that the sun produces:

1.   Remember to apply sunscreen! SPF 40-50 is ideal.

2.   Check your sunscreen expiration dates – these products usually expire within 2-3 years.

3.   Wear sunglasses and a hat when possible in order to protect the parts that sunscreen can’t be applied.

4.   Reapply sunscreen every 2 hours, or sooner if you are in water.

5.   The sun is strongest between 10:00 am and 5:00 pm, be aware of this time frame and if you must be outside during this time, keep the rest of these tips in mind.

Taking these precautions will lower your risk of skin cancer, and it is important that you remember these tips all year.  Having a tan from harmful UV rays might look good now, but along with wrinkles and sun-spots that will show up later, your risk of getting cancer that could be deadly will also be higher.  Share your ideas with us on other ways to stay safe in the sun by commenting below.

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