Skin Cancer

Frequently Asked Questions

11. What is the best way to reduce my risk of skin cancer?

The best way to reduce your skin cancer risk is to reduce your exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun. To do this, you can avoid outdoor activities during midday, when the sun's rays are strongest, or wear protective clothing, such as a wide-brimmed hat, long-sleeved shirt, and pants.

(Watch the video to learn more about how to protect your skin. To enlarge the video, click the brackets in the lower right-hand corner. To reduce the video, press the Escape (Esc) button on your keyboard.)

Darker-colored clothing is more protective against the sun. A white t-shirt, for example, provides little resistance to ultraviolet (UV) rays, particularly if it gets wet.

In addition, wearing sunglasses that wrap around the face or have large frames is a good way to shield the delicate skin around the eyes. When going outside, you should always wear sunscreen and lipscreen. Your sunscreen should have an SPF of at least 15.

UV radiation can also come from sunlamps, tanning beds, or tanning booths. UV radiation is present even in cold weather or on a cloudy day. A person's risk of cancer is related to lifetime exposure to UV radiation.