NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer and it is completely preventable. With the Memorial Day weekend almost here and a nice forecast ahead, Yale Medicine Dermatologist Kathleen Suozzi warns people to protect their skin. She does not like a trend she is now treating.
“I have patients, I’m seeing patients in their twenties, in their thirties developing skin cancer and this is alarming because we know that once you develop a skin cancer you’re at increased risk for all additional skin cancers,” Suozzi said.
Suozzi said to pay attention to what the UV index is if you plan to spend time outdoors. It is the strength of the sunburn-producing ultraviolet radiation. Numbers 8 through 10 mean it is high.
She said mid-summer is not the only time when sun danger is high.
“In general, the UV indexes we will see around this area will peak around mid-summer, so late July, early August but certainly on spring days we can see higher UV indexes that are looking more like our summer levels.”
She said that means you need the same sunscreen protection now that you would in the summer which should be SPF 30 or above.
“Look for the label to make sure it’s labelled broad spectrum. This means it protects against UVA and UVB rays.”
Suozzi said UVB rays are known to cause sunburn and skin cancer. UVA rays are also dangerous and the main factor for skin aging.
She reminds people not to miss spots like the ears, lips and scalp, where she sees cancers even in people with a full head of hair.
The recommendation for reapplying sunscreen is every two hours. If you are swimming or sweating excessively, more frequent reapplication is recommended.