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Overton Brooks VA Medical Center


Covering Up From The Sun


Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer diagnosed.  More than 1 million skin cancers are diagnosed each year and the number of skin cancers continues to rise. 

Most skin cancers are caused by exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays.  Sunlight is not avoided easily, but there are things we can do to protect ourselves.
Here are some of them.

  • Limit the amount of direct sun exposure during the middle of the day (10am – 4pm) when the intensity of the sun’s rays is the strongest.
  • Seek shade whenever possible.
  • Cover-up – Wear clothing to protect your skin, for example long-sleeves and long-pants.
  • Dark colors protect more than light colors.
  • Tightly woven fabrics protect more than loosely woven fabrics.
  • Dry fabric protects more than wet fabric.
  • Wear a hat – Ideally, wear a hat that has a wide brim; at least 2 -3 inches all the way around.  It will protect your neck, ears, eyes, forehead, nose and scalp.
  • Wear sunscreen – Use a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher.
    • Apply generously and thickly on all skin that will be exposed to the sun.
    • Apply 20 – 30 minutes before going outdoors.
    • Reapply every 2 hours.
    • Reapply after swimming.
    • Reapply if you are sweating.
    • Use lip balm that contains sunscreen.
    • Remember to use sunscreen even if it is overcast or cloudy.
  • Wear sunglasses – Wrap-around styles offer the most protection.
    • Sunglasses should have 99% - 100% absorption.
    • Look for labels that state UVA/UVB Blocking, UV absorption to 400nm, meets ANSI UV requirements.

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