Project Sun Safe

Project Sun Safe is a community education program for all ages that focuses on sun safety and reducing the risk for skin cancer. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 65 to 90 percent of melanomas are caused by exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light.

Protection from sun exposure is important all year round, not just during the summer months. Below are helpful tips for protecting your skin year round.​

A Few Facts

  1. Fact: It takes only one severe burn during childhood to double the risk of skin cancer in adulthood.
  2. Fact: Ninety percent of wrinkles are caused by the sun and just ten percent by aging.
  3. Fact: A thin, white cotton shirt has a sun protection factor of only about 4.

Get Covered

  • UV rays are still hazardous on cloudy and hazy days, as well as bright and sunny days so make sure to apply sunscreen
  • The hours between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. are the most hazardous for UV exposure
  • Don’t forget to reapply sunscreen every two hours or more – especially if you’re surfing or swimming
  • There’s no such thing as all-day protection, even if your sunscreen is waterproof
  • Grab a hat and sunglasses…don’t underestimate their protection
  • Be aware that surfaces such as sand, water, concrete and snow reflect up to 85 percent of damaging UV rays; 80 percent can pass through cloud cover, haze and fog
  • Apply sunscreen even when you’re underneath a beach umbrella or in a car; the rays can reflect off of other surfaces and reach you
  • Take note of the expiration date on sunscreen and replace it yearly
  • It takes one ounce (about the size of a shot glass) of sunscreen to fully protect the average body from head to toe
  • Apply sunscreen with a minimum of SPF 30, thirty minutes before going outside and wait a few minutes before putting on clothes; the clothing will soak up the sunscreen before the skin can
  • Cover all exposed surfaces, including tops of ears, lips, scalps where there is thinning or no hair,
    noses and bony surfaces

Know Your ABCD's of Skin Cancer

A – Asymmetry: Look for growths in which one half doesn’t match the other half.

B – Borders: Look for irregular borders with edges that are ragged, notched or blurred.

C – Color: Look for pigmentation that’s not uniform; with shades of tan, brown and black present. Dashes of red, white and blue may add to the mottled appearance.

D – Diameter: Look for size greater than six millimeters (about the size of a pencil eraser). Any mole growth should be of concern.

E – Evolution: Look for changes in size, shape, color, or elevation, or any new symptom such as bleeding, itching or crusting.

Get Checked

Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States, and it’s also one of the most preventable types of cancer. Skin cancer is easiest to treat when caught early. So get annual skin exams by your primary care physician or a dermatologist. Also be sure to check yourself regularly and note any changes in existing moles, freckles, or spots. See a physician immediately if you notice any of the warning signs below. Be proactive about your skin health!

With questions about the Project Sun Safe Program, call 949-7-CANCER (722-6237).