Spring Forward, But Fall Back on Sun Protection

New York, NY (March 14, 2011) - One of the first signs that spring is coming, Daylight Saving Time began this year on Sunday, March 13 at 2 AM. An extra hour of daylight each day means not just longer days, but additional exposure to solar ultraviolet (UV) radiation. About 90 percent of all nonmelanoma skin cancers and about 65 percent of melanoma cases are associated with exposure to UV radiation from the sun. With this in mind, The Skin Cancer Foundation reminds everyone to take precautions before spending time outdoors.

"After a particularly long and arduous winter, I'm sure everyone is looking forward to Daylight Saving Time," said Perry Robins, MD, President of The Skin Cancer Foundation. "The sun may not feel that strong this time of year, but its UV rays still penetrate and damage the skin, so it's important to keep the skin protected. Even on cloudy days, about 80 percent of UV rays can still reach us."

In addition to being linked with skin cancer, the sun can also age the skin prematurely. Up to 90 percent of visible skin changes commonly attributed to aging (such as wrinkling and brown spots) are caused by the sun. By making sun protection a part of your lifestyle, you can spend time outdoors without jeopardizing the health of your skin. Be sure to follow The Skin Cancer Foundation's Prevention Guidelines:

  • Seek the shade, especially between 10 AM and 4 PM.
  • Do not burn.
  • Avoid tanning and UV tanning booths.
  • Cover up with clothing, including a broad-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses.
  • Use a broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher every day. For extended outdoor activity, use a water-resistant, broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
  • Apply 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) of sunscreen to your entire body 30 minutes before going outside. Reapply every two hours or immediately after swimming or excessive sweating.
  • Keep newborns out of the sun. Sunscreens should be used on babies over the age of six months.
  • Examine your skin from head-to-toe every month.
  • See your physician every year for a professional skin exam.

About The Skin Cancer Foundation

The Skin Cancer Foundation is the only global organization solely devoted to the prevention, early detection and treatment of skin cancer. The mission of the Foundation is to decrease the incidence of skin cancer through public and professional education and research. For more information, visit www.SkinCancer.org.