SACRAMENTO, Calif. — In the summer season people spend a lot of time outdoors, whether it's at the pool, hiking or just doing yard work. That's why it's so important to protect your skin.
People who are fair-skinned or have weakened immune systems are more susceptible to the sun’s harm, but pollution, radiation, genetics and medicines could all make you more vulnerable, too.
Kaiser Permanente’s Dr. Katie Varman shared some tips to keep people safe from harmful UV rays:
- Wear a wide-brimmed hat that covers the ears, face and neck
- Wear UV-protective clothing that’s made with special fabric that can protect the skin efficiently.
- Put on sunscreen everyday and every two hours when you’re outdoors.
- Use a sunscreen that’s SPF 30 or higher. Also make sure it’s broad spectrum so it covers everything.
- A lesser know tip is to eat a lot of colorful fruits and vegetables to protect yourself. That puts natural nutrients into the skin.
With prevention comes knowing your own body. Dr. Varman recommends you check your skin once a month. That way if anything changes, you’ll notice it.
“When you’re checking your skin you need to be looking from your head all the way down to your toes, and that includes the bottom of your feet, between your toes and areas that the sun doesn’t necessarily shine, because although a lot of skin cancers are sun-related, not all of them are,” Varman said.
She said you should also look out for bright red or pink spots. They can look like a blemish that doesn’t want to heal. It could later become sore or start to bleed. Another thing to look for could be a brown or black mole that was pre-existing or new. If it grows and changes, it’s something you should talk to your doctor about.
Dr. Varman said one in five people will get skin cancer before they turn 70 despite the skin type.
WATCH MORE FROM ABC10: A guide to preventative care | Health Beat with Brea Love