We’re smarter than ever about using sunscreen to protect our precious skin. Yet, even as sunscreen use increases, so do skin cancer rates. In fact, skin cancer rates have tripled in the last 35 years, says the National Cancer Institute.
As if skin cancer isn’t scary enough, who wants the other effect of too much sun exposure: early skin aging. The only way to reduce skin damage and cancer risks from too much sun exposure is to manage the factors that you can—largely avoiding UV rays and sunburns.
About 90% of non-melanoma skin cancers are caused by exposure to UV radiation from the sun. The FDA recently made sunscreen manufacturers clarify their labels:
Sunscreen alone can’t reduce your skin cancer risks. Your lifetime exposure to the sun and UV rays matters. Using sunscreen to prevent sunburn is just the first step, say experts at the National Cancer Institute and the CDC:
Controllable risk factors:
Non-controllable risk factors:
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