May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month


Web Editor - Ryan Burkett

Skin cancer is a lifestyle disease affecting young women, older men and everyone in between.

According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, one in five Americans will develop one of three types of skin cancer. However, there is good news: skin cancer is highly preventable.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, the hours between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. are the most hazardous for UV exposure. Dermatologist Douglas Wilson of Bluegrass Dermatology says you can enjoy the beach, but be smart about it.

"For your kids who are out in the sun apply a very thick sunscreen with at least SPF of 30 and as much as you can use a cabana or umbrella," Wilson said.

Wear clothing to protect your exposed skin. Loose-fitting long-sleeved shirts and long pants made from tightly woven fabric are the best protection from the sun's UV rays. Also, wear a hat with a wide brim to shade the face, ears and neck.

Did you know that UV rays can damage skin in as little as 15 minutes? With that in mind, you should put on sunscreen even on cloudy or cool days. Before you put it on, though, make sure to check the expiration date. Sunscreen has a shelf life of no more than three years, and even shorter if it's been exposed to high temperatures.

As for indoor tanning, all dermatologists say to avoid it. Tanning beds have been linked with skin cancers including melanoma, the deadliest type of skin cancer.

Check out the video for more advice on skin cancer and ways to prevent the disease.