July is UV Safety Month
Photography: Kraig Scarbinsky for Getty ImagesPhoto 2 of 7
A—Asymmetry, if one half of a mole or birthmark does not match the other.Photo 3 of 7
B—Border, if the mole or spot has irregular, ragged, notched, or blurred edges instead of a smooth border.Photo 4 of 7
C—Color, if the mole has patches of colors instead of a uniform tone.Photo 5 of 7
D—Diameter, to be aware that most melanomas are larger than 1/4 inch, about the size of a pencil eraser.Photo 6 of 7
E—Evolving, which means the spot is changing in size, shape or color; different in appearance from your other moles; itchy and painful; or bleeding.Photo 7 of 7
This year, July 4 falls on a Friday, and the entire country will be celebrating Independence Day all weekend! That means barbecues, softball games, parades, carnivals, beach visits—lots of outdoor activities. But did you know that July 3 is Stay Out of the Sun Day?
No one seems to know where that “holiday” originated, and you probably have never marked it on your calendar. But all of July is National UV Safety Month. Even if you don’t shun the sun for an entire day, midsummer is a good time to remind ourselves to have a little respect for the big bright globe in the sky by guarding our skin. The price for spending too much sun-worship time can be melanoma.
It’s best to:
*Limit your total sun exposure.
*Avoid exposing your skin to the midday sun—between the hours of 10 am and 3 pm. Hats and sleeves help!
*Even on a cloudy day, apply SPF 15 sunscreen 20-30 minutes before you go outside, and reapply every two hours or more often if you’re swimming or sweating.
*Wear sunglasses to protect both your eyes and the skin around the eyes.
*Wear SPF 15 lip balm.
City of Hope recommends checking your entire body often and calling your doctor if you see any of the ABCDE red flags, shown on the slide show below (images are courtesy of City of Hope).