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Protect against the sun

Essentia Health will host free skin cancer screenings 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday, May 1 at the Center for Renewal, 400 E. Third St., first floor. People will have a 10-minute skin check appointment with one of the dermatology providers.

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Essentia Health will host free skin cancer screenings 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday, May 1 at the Center for Renewal, 400 E. Third St., first floor. People will have a 10-minute skin check appointment with one of the dermatology providers.

“You don’t have to live in a Sun Belt to develop skin cancer,” said Dr. Susan Ash, Essentia Health dermatologist. “Many people in this area have fair Scandinavian skin with less natural pigment to avoid getting really bad sunburns.”

The American Academy of Dermatology recommends sunscreen that offers broad-spectrum protection (against UVA and UVB rays), sun protection factor (SPF) 30 or higher and water resistance.

Sunscreen alone cannot fully protect you. Dermatologists also recommend the following:

  • Seek shade when appropriate, remembering that the sun’s rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. If your shadow is shorter than you are, seek shade.
  • Wear protective clothing such as a long-sleeved shirt, pants, a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses, when possible.
  • Use extra caution near water, snow and sand as they reflect the damaging rays of the sun, which can increase your chance of sunburn.
  • Get vitamin D safely through a healthy diet that may include vitamin supplements. Don’t seek the sun.
  • Avoid tanning beds. Ultraviolet light from the sun and tanning beds can cause skin cancer and wrinkling. If you want to look tan, you may wish to use a self-tanning product, but continue to use sunscreen with it.
  • Check your birthday suit on your birthday. If you notice anything changing, itching or bleeding on your skin, see a board-certified dermatologist. Skin cancer is very treatable when caught early.
Related Topics: HEALTH
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