While it’s still officially spring, many Iowans are already leaping into summer activities and they’re getting plenty of sun.
Chuck Reed, spokesman for the American Cancer Society’s central Iowa chapter, reminds Iowans about using sunscreen, wearing hats, and to avoid the peak hours of exposure — between 10 AM and 2 PM — if possible.
“It’s really important for people to take care of their skin earlier in the warm weather season,” Reed says. “If you get that initial sunburn, it’s usually the worst burn you’re going to get and it’s a burn that could stay with you for a lifetime.”
If you’ve bought any sunscreen lately, you likely will have noticed some changes on the labels. Reed says that’s thanks to recent FDA action that aimed to make the labeling more clear to consumers.
“You need at least an SPF 30, anything below that is not as effective,” Reed says. “Be leary of two terms: sweatproof and waterproof. Those terms just don’t seem to be completely accurate.”
This type of cancer is very prevalent in Iowa and nationwide, but Reed says that doesn’t make it any less dangerous.
“One in five Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer in their lifetime,” Reed says. “A lot of people think skin cancer is not as serious as some other cancers, yet in the United States this year, over 12,600 people will die from skin cancer. That’s like wiping out a small town.”
For more information, visit: www.cancer.org
By Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City