Sun Safety Playbook

Patients Rising offers tips and strategies to stay sun safe.

Skin Cancer DOES NOT Discriminate

  • 1 out of 5 Americans will get skin cancer,1 and although melanoma incidence is higher in caucasians, the 5-year survival rates for African Americans (78%) is significantly low­er than that of caucasians (92%).2
  • 65% of those with skin of color feel they are not at risk for skin cancer.3
  • 62% of African Americans have never worn sunscreen.4
  • Only 17% of those with skin of color have had a skin check by a dermatologist.5

Play by The Rules!

  1. Seek shade from 10 am to 2 pm
  2. Reapply sunscreen every 2 hours
  3. Wear the right amount of sun­screen (1 oz.)
  4. Get annual skin checks

Know The ABC’s of Melanoma

If Any Mole Shows Signs of One of the Following, It Should Be Examined Promptly:

  1. Asymmetry When half of the more or lesion does not match the other
  2. Border Irregular, scalloped or poorly defined, uneven edges.
  3. Color Varied from one area to another; shades of tan and brown, black; sometimes white, red or blue.
  4. Diameter Larger than 6mm as a rule (diameter of a pencil eraser)
  5. Evolution/ Elevated Melanomas usually change in size, shape, or color over a short period of time. Ordinary moles stay the same size, shape, and color for many years.

Top 10 Safety Tips for Outdoor Enthusiasts

  1. Thirty minutes before going outdoors, apply a broad spec­trum (UVA and UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
  2. Use a ping-pong-ball-sized amount of sunscreen (1 ounce) to cover your entire body.
  3. Cover your lips with a sun protective lip balm that contains an SPF of 30 or higher.
  4. Check expiration date on your sunscreen and remember that if you are using sunscreen properly, it should not last more than one season.
  5. Seek shade whenever possible.
  6. Wear a broad-brimmed hat (preferably at least 2 inches with a back flap) instead of a baseball cap to help protect your face, ears, and neck.
  7. Protect your eyes with UV-protective sunglasses.
  8. Wear sun protective clothing (for example, tightly woven cotton) including long pants and long-sleeved shirts as often as possible.
  9. Completely coat all exposed areas of your face and body. Don’t forget the ears, neck, nose, shoulders, and the backs of your hands, arms, and legs.
  10. Re-apply every two hours–even on a cloudy, overcast, or cool day. If you are going to be swimming, make sure to re-apply as soon as you get out of the water.

References

  1. American Academy of Dermatology.
  2. Wu XC, et al. Racial and ethnic variations in incidence and survival of cutaneous melanoma in the United States, 1999-2006. J Am Acad Dermatol 2011;65:S26-37.
  3. Kim M, et al. Perception of skin cancer risk by those with ethnic skin. Arch Dermatol 2009;145:207-8.
  4. Pichon LC, et al. Sun-protection behaviors among African Americans. Am J Prev Med 2010;38:288 –95
  5. Imahiyerobo-Ip J, et al. Skin cancer awareness in communities of color. J Am Acad Dermatol 2011;64:198-200.
  6. Imahiyerobo-Ip J, et al. Skin cancer awareness in communities of color. J Am Acad Dermatol

2011;64:198-200.