STAMFORD, Conn., -- Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial start of the summer season.
Mayor David Martin, the City of Stamford’s Department of Health & Social Services and the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention are reminding residents to protect their skin from the sun’s ultraviolet rays to prevent skin cancer. The council has named the Friday before Memorial Day “Don’t Fry Day.”
“I will be outside this weekend, and I will be wearing sunscreen and a hat. It is important to protect your skin when you are outside,” Martin said. “I was one of 76,000 people to be diagnosed this year with Melanoma, which was in part because I wasn’t as careful with my sunscreen as I should have been when I was younger. I encourage everyone to take the extra minute or two to put on sunscreen, a hat and a shirt when they are outside to protect themselves from the sun’s harmful rays. It is worth it.”
Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States. More people will be diagnosed with skin cancer this year than breast, prostate, lung and colon cancer combined. The good news is that most skin cancers can be prevented. The most preventable cause of skin cancer is exposure to ultraviolet light, either from the sun or from artificial sources, like tanning beds.
Follow these important tips for lowering skin cancer risk by limiting skin’s exposure to intense sunlight and by using sunscreen. Remember, it is important to protect your skin on cloudy and overcast days as well because, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation, even on cloudy days, about 80 percent of ultraviolet rays can reach our skin.
- Do not burn: Avoid direct sun exposure during the day’s most intense sun, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.. Seek shade during these hours.
- Remember the American Cancer Society’s “Slip, Slop, Slap, & Wrap” rules.
- Slip on a shirt: Protective, lightweight clothing can help to protect skin from the sun’s rays.
- Slop on sunscreen: Sunscreen and lip balm with a Sun Protection Factor of at least 30 should be applied generously 30 minutes before outdoor activities. Remember to reapply every two hours and after swimming, toweling off, or sweating.
- Slap on a hat: Hats with wide brims can protect eyes, face, neck, and ears.
- Wrap on sunglasses: Don’t forget to protect eyes from the sun’s ultra-violet rays. Select glasses with 100 percent UVA/UVB protection.
- Check the UV Index: It provides important information to help plan outdoor activities in ways that prevent overexposure to the sun. The index can be found online .