May 25, 2012
Concord, NH - Friday, May 25, 2012 is, “Don’t Fry Day.” The National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention has designated the Friday before Memorial Day as a day of sun safety awareness. “Don’t Fry Day” also serves as a reminder to everyone to protect their skin while enjoying the outdoors to help prevent skin cancer. The following tips will help to keep you and your family sun safe this summer:
- Do not burn
- Avoid sun tanning and tanning beds
- Seek shade (between 10:00 am to 4:00 pm when sun’s rays are strongest)
- Cover up; wear sun-protective clothing
- Wear sunglasses with 99-100% UBA/UBV protection
- Use sunscreen (SPF 15 or higher)
Skin cancer is on the rise in the United States. While the incidence of many common cancers is falling, the incidence of melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer, continues to rise significantly. Melanoma is rising at a rate faster than that of any of the seven most common cancers. Between 2001 and 2005 New Hampshire had the second highest rate of new melanoma diagnoses in the United States. This is 61% higher than the national average. One blistering sunburn in childhood more than doubles a person’s chances of developing melanoma later in life. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that less than one third of American youths practice effective sun protection.
"We can do better,” said Dr. José Montero, Director of Public Health at the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services. “The good news is that skin cancer is highly curable if found early and it can be prevented by practicing sun safety.”
There is also some important information everyone should know about sunscreens.
New FDA regulations do not allow sunscreens to use the words “sunblock,” “waterproof,” or “sweatproof” because all sunscreens need to be reapplied every two hours, and more often if you are in and out of water or sweating. Sunscreen products that pass the broad spectrum test are allowed to be labeled as “Broad Spectrum.” These “Broad Spectrum” sunscreens protect against both UVA and UVB rays. Scientific data have demonstrated that products that are “Broad Spectrum SPF 15 [or higher]” reduce the risk of skin cancer and early skin aging when used with other sun protection measures, in addition to helping prevent sunburn.
Reapplication. Sunscreen wears off. Put it on again if you stay out in the sun for more than two hours, and after you swim or engage in activities that cause you to sweat.
Expiration date. Check the sunscreen's expiration date. Sunscreen has a shelf life of no more than three years, and the shelf life is shorter if it has been exposed to high temperatures.
For more information about Don’t Fry Day, go to www.epa.gov/sunwise/dfdpledge.html. For more information about sun safety and skin cancer prevention, go to www.cdc.gov/cancer/skin/basic_info/prevention.htm.