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Did you know?Home_files/MCSD2010.pdf

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the U.S. There's strong evidence that excessive sun exposure raises the risk of melanoma, the deadliest form of the disease. According to the American Cancer Society, there will be about 62,000 new cases of melanoma in 2006, and nearly 8,000 will die of the ailment.


Sunscreens. Sunscreen is a highly recommended defense against sunburn and skin cancer. It is now available in lotions, creams, ointments, gels, wax sticks, and spray. Some have glitter and tint, too.


What's the best kind? That depends on you. "It's nice to use a product with a higher SPF, but it's more important you find a sunscreen that you like because you'll use it more," says Andrew Kaufman, MD, a dermasurgeon and a member of the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery.


Make sure to apply sunscreen 15 to 30 minutes before you go out. Put on enough so that it takes a full minute to rub in. If at the beach, spread at least 1 ounce -- enough to fill a shot glass -- on your face and entire body. Use more if you need to for good coverage. If you swim, sweat, or are outdoors for a long time, reapply every two hours. Your sunscreen should also have the following qualities:


  1. It is water resistant. Sweat or water cannot easily remove it.

  2. It has SPF of 15 or higher.

  3. Broad-spectrum protection, which is in sunscreens containing benzophenones (oxybenzone), cinnamates (octylmethyl cinnamate and cinoxate), sulisobenzone, salicylates, titanium oxide, zinc oxide, and avobenzone (Parsol 1789).