WCA Health Tip: Protect Yourself from the Sun!

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By Linda Johnson

I am certain we’ve all listened to Nat King Cole’s Lazy Hazy Crazy Days of Summer lyrics, “Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer . . . dust off the sun and moon and sing a song of cheer.” Fittingly, if you are lured outdoors by the lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer and sunshine, remember one important ritual—don’t forget your sun protection!

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), protection from ultraviolet (UV) radiation is important all year round, not just during the summer or at the beach. UV rays from the sun can reach you on cloudy and hazy days, as well as bright and sunny days. UV rays also reflect off of surfaces like water, cement, sand, and snow.

“While some exposure to sunlight can be enjoyable, too much can be dangerous,” says Toni DeAngelo, R.N., WCA Hospital Community Health and Wellness Director. “Overexposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun can result in a painful sunburn. It can also lead to more serious health problems, including skin cancer, premature aging of the skin, cataracts and other eye damage, and immune system suppression. However, following a few simple sun safety measures can keep you protected all year long.”

The CDC recommends easy options for protection from UV radiation:
•    Seek shade, especially during midday hours.
•    Wear clothing to protect exposed skin.
•    Wear a hat with a wide brim to shade the face, head, ears, and neck.
•    Wear sunglasses that wrap around and block as close to 100% of both UVA and UVB rays as possible.
•    Use sunscreen with sun protective factor (SPF) 15 or higher, and both UVA and UVB protection
•    Avoid indoor tanning!

Skin cancer is one of the most common and most preventable forms of cancer in the United States. More than 3.5 million new cases of skin cancer are diagnosed annually. By following these simple steps, you can enjoy those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer!

WCA Hospital is offering FREE Melanoma screenings during the months of August, September and October with Dr. Robert Scott, board-certified dermatologist on the medical staff at WCA. To sign-up for the FREE melanoma screening, register for the WCA Hospital Free Community Presentation, “Integrating Wellness into Cancer Prevention, Diagnosis & Survivorship” held at the WCA Hospital Auditorium on Tuesday, August 21, by calling Linda Johnson, WCA Hospital Public Relations at 664-8614.