temperatures rise and residents prepare to spend more time outdoors, the
Ipswich Health Department is raising awareness about the risks of sun damage
and providing tips to ensure sun safety this summer.
sun’s UV rays are most hazardous between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. daylight savings
time (9 a.m. to 3 p.m. standard time), and are strongest during the late spring
and early summer months.
of overexposure to the sun include sunburns, premature aging of the skin,
wrinkling and skin cancer. The most preventable cause of skin cancer is
exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light, either from the sun or from artificial
sources like tanning beds.
is at risk for skin cancer, but the risk is greatest for people with white or
light-colored skin with freckles, blond or red hair and blue or green eyes.
order to protect yourself, Ipswich Public Health recommends that residents:
Use sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher liberally and often. Be sure to
reapply every two hours and on dry skin whenever you get out of the water. Wet
skin doesn’t allow for sunscreen to apply properly.
Apply sunscreen at least 10 to 15 minutes before going outside or
in the water.
Avoid prolonged exposure to the sun. Use umbrellas at the beach
and sit in the shade when possible.
Wear hats that shade the face and neck, and shirts and long pants
when temperatures allow.
Wear sunscreen even on cloudy days.
Wear sunglasses that wrap around your face to help block as many UVA
and UVB rays as possible, to protect your eyes, and to reduce the risk of
Avoid tanning booths. The UV light from the bulbs in a tanning
booth is just as damaging as that from the sun, causing skin cells to mutate.
Avoid burns. Unprotected skin can be damaged by the sun’s UV rays
in as little as 15 minutes but can take up to 12 hours for skin to show the
full effect of sun exposure.
to the Centers for Disease Control, a change in your skin is the most common
sign of skin cancer. Call your doctor if you have any of these signs:
Moles that change color, shape or height.
A new mole that appears and looks different from others.
Bleeding or painful moles, moles that vary in color, or moles that
Spots or bumps that get larger or harder.