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Going South this Winter? Don’t Forget to Pack These 5 Sun Safety Tips!

Finally—vacation! This means it’s time to relax, kick back and get away from the cold Canadian winter. But don’t forget to be sun safe and sun aware!
Did you know melanoma, a very serious form of skin cancer, is caused by overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from sources like the sun and tanning beds? This means that tanning can be deadly!
Melanoma is one of the fastest growing cancers worldwide. In Canada, melanoma is one of the most common cancers, affecting 6000 people and causing 1,027 deaths. Unlike other cancers, melanoma can often be seen on the skin. Have a mole that looks strange or has been changing? Monitor these changes and moles and report them to your doctor. The survival rate for melanoma is high if it is detected early!

Stop melanoma before it starts! Reduce your risk and follow our sun safety tips for a fun and sun aware getaway! Doing these easy things could save your life.

1. Ban the Tan!
Remember, there is no such thing as a healthy tan. Tanned skin is damaged skin and any tan or change in skin colour is a sign of skin damage.

Do not get an artificial or ‘base’ tan using indoor tanning equipment. This does not protect you from the sun, but damages it severely. Tanning beds can increase your risk of developing melanoma or skin cancer by up to 75%. Your skin will also prematurely age, and wrinkles become more exaggerated if you go to a tanning bed. Not worth the risk!

2. Lather on the Sunscreen
Sunscreen: don’t leave home without it! Apply SPF 30+ broad spectrum water resistant sunscreen generously to clean, dry skin, at least 15 minutes before sun exposure. Have sunscreen that’s been sitting around in your cupboard? Remember to check the expiration date as sunscreen loses its effectiveness over time.

3. You’re Made in the Shade
Seek shade outdoors when possible, especially during peak sun exposure hours. Shade will protect your skin and keep you cool while still enjoying the gorgeous weather on your trip. So relax under a shady tree or covered structures, or create your own shade using an umbrella.

4. Sunglasses: Look Cool and be Protected
Remember to protect your eyes! Wear wrap-around sunglasses that completely shield your eyes. For effective protection, sunglasses should provide coverage from direct and indirect sunlight (UVA and UVB rays). Prescription sunglasses and sunglasses that fit over your regular non-treated prescription glasses are available.

5. Wear A Wide Brimmed Hat and Sun Protective Clothing
Wear tightly woven, sun protective clothing that covers as much of your body as possible and a broad-brimmed hat that shades your face, neck and ears. Lightweight, loose-fitting UV protective clothing can even keep you cooler than bare skin in hot weather! Don’t forget to put sunscreen on any uncovered parts of your body.

Find out more about sun safety and melanoma online at www.melanomanetwork.ca.