Protect the skin you’re in

Published 6:23 pm Saturday, July 30, 2016

With summer in full swing and high temperatures a daily occurrence, many people are spending their time at the lake, in the pool or at the beach whenever they get the chance. However, all these places often bring the potential for overexposure to the sun, which can damage to your immune system, your eyes and especially, your skin.

Doctors and other professionals continually tell us to protect ourselves and take the necessary steps to prevent skin cancer. But many of us walk continue to go on thinking, “I’ll be fine. That won’t happen to me.”

But one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime. That’s 20 percent. Folks tend to worry more about shark attacks, which are vanishingly less likely. And with cancer, by the time some find out that they have it, it is too late.

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Protect your skin, not just the rest of the summer, but all year ‘round. A high portion of our residents in Western Tidewater are at high risk for too much sun exposure based on their profession.

Yes, we are speaking about you farmers, construction workers, VDOT workers and all the others who spend most of the day outside.

According to the Skin Care Foundation, there are several ways to protect your skin and reduce the risk of skin cancer.

For instance, the clothes you wear can make a big difference. It is encouraged to stay away from bleached cottons, silks and polo shirts and instead wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, hats and sunglasses.

More than anything, though, it is extremely important to wear sunscreen and use it the right way. It needs to be SPF 15 or higher, and it should be applied several times throughout the day.

Educate yourself on skin cancer and learn the other way to help prevent it. A good place to start learning is at