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Leah Sarich – Health Specialist: Sun Safety

bt.calgary | posted Thursday, Jun 6th, 2013

There is no safe tan. This is the message Dermatologists want to get across for Sun Awareness Week. Dr. Lynne Robertson says people know a sun burn is bad, but they don’t realize a sun tan is still damaging the skin cells. She says rates for melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, are still on the rise. Dr. Robertson says people need to understand these skin cancers are largely preventable by protecting yourself from the sun’s harmful UV rays.

The best way to stay safe is the sun is to wear sunscreen, the Canadian Dermatology Association recommends at least an SPF of 30, wear protective clothing including a hat and avoid the peak sun hours between 11am and 4 pm.

Also when applying sunscreen make sure you use enough. Dr. Robertson says a palm sized dollop should be used for each limb and sunscreen should be applied every 2 hours. And don’t forget the ears, back of the neck and top of the head!

It’s also important to regularly get your moles checked. Dr. Robertson says most people should get their moles looked at by their family doctor at their annual physical exam. Those who are high risk including people with red and blonde hair, those with a personal or family history of skin cancer and those who have 50 or more moles may need to get their moles checked more often.

If you would like to get your moles looked at by a Dermatologist, there is a free public screening at Eau Claire Market on Thursday June 14th from 10am until 1pm.

For more information about staying safe in the sun visit:

http://www.dermatology.ca/skin-hair-nails/skin/sun-safety/

For a list of sunscreens approved by the Canadian Dermatology Association:

http://www.dermatology.ca/programs-resources/programs/recognized-products/

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