The incidence of melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer, is 50 percent higher in Anne Arundel County than the rest of Maryland. Everyone, regardless of skin color, can get skin cancer. Without proper year-round skin protection, there is a greater risk of skin damage that can lead to skin cancer.
The Learn To Live program of the Anne Arundel County Department of Health offers free Get Sun Smart kits to county residents. The kit includes a “Body Mole Map” that provides instructions for checking your skin, an SPF 30 lip balm, tips on selecting a sunscreen, and guidelines for selecting sunglasses for children. To order a kit, county residents can call the Learn To Live Line, 410-222-7979, or visit www.GetSunSmart.org.
Learn To Live urges county residents to follow these tips to protect their skin when spending time outdoors:
• Use broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. Reapply every two hours, even if it is labeled water resistant. Sunscreens should be reapplied more often after swimming or sweating, according to the directions on the label.
• Use lip balm with an SPF of at least 30.
• Wear a hat with a wide brim to shade your face, head, ears and neck.
• Seek shade, especially from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. when ultraviolet rays are strongest.
• Cover up. Clothing with tightly woven fabric helps protect from harmful rays.
• Wear sunglasses that protect against 100 percent of UVA and UVB rays.