Sun safety tips to prevent skin cancer


A bottle of Banana Boat sunscreen is placed in the sand near the Newport Beach pier in Newport Beach Calif., Friday, Oct. 19, 2012. The maker of Banana Boat sunscreen is recalling some of its spray-on products after reports that a handful of people who have caught on fire after applying the lotion and standing near open flames. The bottle was placed in the sand by the photographer to illustrate this report. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the U.S. and cases are increasing, according to the American Cancer Society. With beach season here, experts want to remind us about sun safety tips to prevent skin cancer.

(CBS video)

Every sunburn counts, according to former acting surgeon general Dr. Boris Lushniak with the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention. He says, “When you have a bunch of these sunburns, or a bunch of even tanning of the skin, what you have is this cumulative effect that damages those cells to the point where they can start changing. And when they start changing, they can develop cancer.”

Protective clothing like lightweight long sleeve shirts and pants can protect your skin. So can sunglasses.

Choose a sunscreen with broad-spectrum protection, an SPF of 30 or higher, and water resistance. Apply about 15 minutes before heading outdoors and reapply about every two hours, or after swimming, or if you’re sweating. “The other part of sunscreens is to use enough,” Dr. Lushniak says, “For adults, a shot glass size of sunscreen covers your whole body.

The sun’s rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. If you can try to stay in the shade between those peak times, it’s a good idea.

Skin cancer is very treatable when caught early. If you notice any changes in your skin, see a dermatologist.

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