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July, 2019


Enjoy the Summer Sun
But be Sure to Protect Your Skin!

Submitted by Christine Peterson



Are you ready for the summer season? As your time enjoying outdoor activities increases, remember to take precautions to protect the health of your skin. You can have fun in the sun and stay healthy by being smart about your sun exposure. The following article, offering tips and advice, is provided to us by the CUA Employee Assistance Plan (EAP) provider, Carebridge.

Skin cancer is the most common of all cancers, and its incidence rate in the United States and Canada continues to rise. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime.


Although risk factors include having fair skin, red or blond hair, light-colored eyes, and multiple moles, freckles or birthmarks, sun exposure is by far the most preventable risk factor. Control the danger by:

  • Avoiding the sun, especially from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Not using tanning booths or sunlamps.
  • Wearing a wide-brimmed hat to shade your face, ears, head, and neck.
  • Choosing sunglasses that wrap around and block at least 99 percent of UVA and UVB rays.
  • Wearing shirts with long sleeves and long pants made from tightly woven fabric.
  • Using sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or more whenever in the sun and reapplying at
    least every two hours, with specific attention to ears, lips, neck, and backs of your hands.
  • Recognizing that water, snow, and sand reflect and intensify the sun’s rays.

Early detection of skin cancer can ensure effective treatment. With the help of mirrors, check your face, neck, ears, and scalp, then the front and back of your trunk and extremities, including the soles of your feet and spaces between your toes. The American Academy of Dermatology suggests using the A-B-C-D-E skin self-examination guide:

  • Asymmetry: Locate moles with irregular shapes and non-matching halves.
  • Borders: Find any moles with irregular, notched, or scalloped borders.
  • Colors: Notice growths with many colors or uneven color distribution.
  • Diameter: Look for growths that are larger than 6 mm (1/4 inch or the size of a pencil eraser).
  • Evolution: Uncover any changes in size, shape, color, or height that occur over time. Are there new symptoms such as bleeding or itching?

Follow up with your healthcare provider if you find suspicious changes. Individuals who are 40 or older would be wise to consult a doctor for a complete skin exam every year and perhaps more often if they have many of the risk factors for developing skin cancer.


Carebridge EAP services are available to staff and faculty at no cost. For more information, contact the Office of Human Resources, extension 5050, or go to Carebridge's website at You can also reach Carebridge directly at 800 437-0911 or at

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Last Revised 29-Apr-11 02:44 PM.