Preventing skin cancer by taking measures to protect yourself and your family from the sun’s harmful UVA and UVB rays is important. If you’re wondering why, it’s because skin cancer is the most common form of cancer. More people are diagnosed with skin cancer in the U.S. each year than all other cancers combined. In fact, one in five Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer by age 70, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation.
Skin cancer kills thousands of people every year; an estimated 7,000-plus people will die of the melanoma form of skin cancer this year, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. Melanoma is the most dangerous form of skin cancer. Like most other skin cancers, it’s primarily caused by exposure to the ultraviolet rays from the sun. Some cases are also caused by tanning beds. About 90 percent of melanoma and 85 percent of nonmelanoma skin cancer is caused by UV radiation.
Preventing Skin Cancer Involves Protecting Yourself Both Indoors and Outdoors
We’ve all heard the advice about protecting our skin outdoors. On the other hand, there isn’t much in the media about protecting our skin when we’re indoors. However, the Skin Cancer Foundation advises that while glass effectively blocks the sun’s UVB rays, 50 percent or more of harmful UVA rays still penetrate through glass, putting us at risk of developing skin cancer, even when we’re inside our homes or at work.
If you’re wondering how this can happen, think about items in your home or office. Examples would be furniture or personal belongings like photographs or artwork. Do they tend to fade when they’re near windows? Well, the same ultraviolet rays that discolor those items also cause damage to our skin. For example, if the color of the fabric on a chair near a window fades from the sun, then your skin is exposed to damaging UV rays when you sit in the chair during the day.
Fortunately, window film is very effective for preventing skin cancer indoors, but you don’t have to take our word for it. The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends window film for indoor protection from the sun’s UV rays. They state that “window film is an increasingly effective solution, offering substantial indoor protection by blocking up to 99.9 percent of UVA radiation.”
Preventing Skin Cancer Requires Year-Round Diligence
It’s impossible to completely avoid exposure to the sun. However, we can certainly take measures to protect ourselves and our loved ones at home and our staff at the office. Here are some tips for preventing skin cancer that should be followed year-round, not just during the hot months.
1 – Wear sunscreen
Wear sunscreen on your face or use a moisturizer or foundation with built-in sunscreen every single day. Also protect other exposed areas of the skin as well, such as the ears, neck, décolletage, and arms. Be sure to use sunscreen or products that contain sunscreen with 30 SPF or higher.
2 – Cover up
Reduce your skin’s exposure to the sun by covering up with clothing. Try long-sleeved shirts, beach cover-ups, long pants, and wide-brimmed hats. If it’s hot outside, light-colored breathable fabrics are recommended. You can even buy clothes with built-in UV protection that blocks UV rays from penetrating through to your skin. If you can’t cover up with clothing, for whatever reason, try using an umbrella as cover when sitting or walking outside in the sun.
3 – Seek the shade
Limit the time you spend outdoors between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. And if you must be outside during these hours, especially in the summer, try to seek shade under things like awnings and trees as often as possible.
4 – Wear sunglasses
Your eyes need protecting from the sun’s damaging rays just as well as your skin. When outdoors, regardless of how cool it is, wear sunglasses with UVA and UVB protection.
5 – Use window film
As we’ve already mentioned, window film can help protect your skin from sun damage. It also helps preserve belongings and furnishings inside your home or office. For the best protection, choose a window film like 3M™ Sun Control Window Film. This film is specifically designed for significantly blocking out the sun’s harmful UV rays, while still allowing plenty of natural light through your windows.
Carolina Solar Security is a premium 3M™ Authorized Window Film Dealer in Wilmington, NC. We have been providing North Carolina homeowners and business owners with window tinting solutions since 1985 and never stop working to bring our customers the best products paired with the most skilled window film technicians. Reach out to us for your free quote today!