Skin Cancer During Winter Months

January 13, 2010

As the cooler weather hits, we put away the summer clothes in preparation for the frigid temperatures of winter. The one thing we don’t often think about is that our skin needs to be protected from the damaging rays of the sun all through the year.

What most people aren’t aware of is that their skin can be damaged from UV rays whether the sun is shining bright or it’s a cold, cloudy winter day. In fact, UV rays are just as strong, if not stronger, during cloudy days.

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the U.S., making up more than half of all cancers here. More than 1 million Americans are diagnosed with the disease each year. Though there is much debate on the effectiveness of sunblock, there is very little disagreement about the importance of protecting against too much ultra-violet (UV) light.

To help reduce or eliminate the high rate of skin cancer, protecting your skin from these dangerous UV rays is imperative. Sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher needs to be applied to all exposed skin and re-applied after a period of outdoor activity. Hats and long-sleeve shirts are a great way to protect against skin damage from the sun. Other products, like UV protection umbrellas, are another great way to save our skin from skin cancer and melanoma.

Some of the most common skin damage occurs when one comes in contact with intense UV rays, such as rays from tanning beds and excessive sun exposure. Since people are still exposed to the sun, often without sunscreen, they’re as likely to develop skin damage or skin cancer during winter months. An important fact to remember is that light reflecting off of snow can nearly double the strength of UV rays making winter months even more critical to protect your skin.

UV Protection Umbrellas and other products that offer skin protection are available at

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