Healthcare Tips

Fun in the Sun During the Longest Day of the Year

June 10, 2023

June 21. It might be just a normal day at first, but did you know it’s actually the day of the year with the longest recorded amount of sunlight? That means plenty of outdoor time, fun in the sun, and a great activity day for the whole family. But that also means extra danger from UV rays—that is, if you don’t properly protect yourself. Luckily, protecting yourself from the sun is pretty easy. It mostly comes down to shielding yourself from UV radiation—ultraviolet rays from the sun that damage skin. And if you think you don’t need sunscreen to spend a day outdoors, even on a cloudy day, then we have some things to tell you.

The dangers of skin cancer (and how to protect yourself from it)

According to the CDC, the majority of skin cancers are caused by too much exposure to the sun. Luckily, that also means skin cancer is almost entirely preventable by just protecting yourself from UV rays. 

Dr. Stephen Schultz, a medical oncologist and hematologist with Hancock Health, warns that skin cancer is far more common than one might think. 

“We see patients with melanoma skin cancer daily,” said Dr. Schultz. “Many of these patients are cured with surgery. Others need immunotherapy offered in the cancer center. Nonmelanoma skin cancers are diagnosed and treated by primary care physicians and dermatologists in the early stages.” 

The good news, however, is that skin cancer is usually easy to recognize and even easier to prevent. Look for developments of new spots on the skin or changes in an existing spot that include a change in color, size, crusting or bleeding. All of these could be indicators of skin cancer. 

“Minimize excessive exposure to ultraviolet light from the sun and tanning beds,” said Dr. Schultz. “It is important to use a sunscreen to protect the skin and prevent blistering sunburns.” 

Other ways to protect your skin can be as simple as spending more time in the shade or using protective clothing such as hats and sunglasses. 

If you suspect you may have skin cancer, our specialists at Hancock Health are here for you. Our Sue Ann Wortman Cancer Center can help you through your fight, and our dedicated surgeons will remove the cancerous skin. 

While spending time outside in the summer is fun, make sure you’re practicing good skin safety as you increase your exposure to the sun.