Posted by: Chelsea Hampton | June 4, 2013

Spending Time Outdoors: Protect Your Skin! (Part I)

protect skin from sun damageII

According to the American Cancer Society®, skin cancer is the most common type of cancer with over 3.5 million cases of basal and squamous cell cancer diagnosed annually in the U.S. Preventing skin damage in the first place is key. Knowing the facts and implementing a few safety measures can go a long way in preventing damage caused by sunlight. Considering skin cancer is so prevalent, skin safety is worth the effort. Read on for terminology and facts related to skin cancer and protection from UV rays!   


Terminology & Facts

  • Melanoma – The most dangerous type of skin cancer and accounts for the most skin cancer fatalities, but this type can often be remedied if caught early.
  • Basal Cell Carcinoma – The most common type of skin cancer, often slow-growing, and develops in the top layer of the skin.   
  • Squamous Cell Carcinoma – Also found towards the outer layer of the skin and rarely spreads, this type usually occurs on sun-exposed parts of the body.
  • UV Light – Ultraviolet light, which includes UVA and UVB rays.  
  • SPF – Sun Protection Factor.
  • Melanin is the protective skin pigment produced by cells called melanocytes, which is where the most dangerous type of skin cancer known as melanoma develops.  
  • The largest organ of the body is skin!
  • Certain types of medications and products can actually make skin more sensitive to sunlight, thus increasing the risk for skin damage. Be sure to read labels and know potential side effects.
  • Skin protection is important year-round, regardless of weather and cloud coverage.
  • It is important to wear sunglasses that block UVA and UVB rays as well, as sunlight can also cause damage to the eyes.
  • Even a tan is the result of some level of skin damage and can increase the risk of skin cancer.


Information obtained and adapted from the following sources:

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. IHealth: BIDMC’s Health Notes: Summer Health: Summer Wellness: Skin Protection Tips.

-Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Skin Cancer: Basic Information about Skin Cancer.

-American Cancer Society®. Learn About Cancer: Skin Cancer Facts.    


This information is provided courtesy of the Wyoming AgrAbility Project. For more information, visit our website or call toll-free at 866-395-4986.


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