As the weather begins to warm up, you’ll want to spend more time outdoors. While the weather is nice, the sun can be harsh. It’s important to avoid being in direct sunlight for long periods of time. Why? Because skin cancer is actually the most common form of cancer in the U.S. Every year, more than 76,000 people are diagnosed with melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. There are more than 3.5 million cases of basal and squamous cell skin cancer each year.

What can you do you to lower your risk of skin cancer? There are several safety precautions you can take:

  • Stay in the shade during midday hours
  • Wear clothing to cover your arms and legs when outside
  • Wear a hat with a wide brim¬†that will shade your face, neck, and ears
  • Use sunglasses that wrap around and block UVA and UVB rays.
  • Always use sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher that provides both UVA and UVB protection.
  • And avoid indoor tanning because the harsh exposure to UV rays can cause skin cancer.

Don’t forget, if you go on vacation, the sun’s UV rays are more likely to reflect off of the sand and cause more damage than normal.The sun is worst between 10 am and 4 pm DST in the continental U.S. So make sure you use the right protection if you are venturing outside during those hours.