Avera Medical Minute: Safely enjoying the sun, avoiding skin cancer

Updated: May. 25, 2023 at 5:20 PM CDT
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PIERRE, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Winter is in the rearview mirror and there is nothing but sunshine and warm weather ahead. That means it is time to spend more time outside, but also more opportunities for sun exposure. A majority of skin cancers can be attributed to ultraviolet radiation from the sun according to Dr. Katie Bonnichsen, a dermatologist with Avera. She recommends a combination of methods to protect yourself from the sun which includes:

-UV protective clothing

-Wide-brimmed hats

-UV protective sunglasses

-Broad spectrum sunscreen, waterproof, and SPF 30 or higher

-Reapply sunscreen every two hours when outdoors

“Skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the U.S.,” Dr. Bonnichsen said. “Thankfully if it is caught early, it has a good prognosis and is easily treatable.”

About 1/5 of patients will be diagnosed with skin cancer in their lifetime.