Don't wait for sunny weather to protect your skin

ONALASKA, Wis. (WEAU) -- The Skin Cancer Foundation said one out of every five people will develop skin cancer during their life time.

Many of us will slather on the sunscreen to avoid sunburns during the summer, but Gundersen Health System dermatologist Dr. Karl Noll said you can also burn during the spring.

“You can get a lot of significant sun exposure through the UVA rays, which are quite prevalent even as early as mid March, mid April,” said Noll.

Noll recommends using sunscreen with an SPF of 50 or higher.

He also said you should avoid going outdoors between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. especially from now until the end of September or October.

If you have to go out during those times for an extended period, you should use sunscreen.

Some people might think they only have to worry about getting a sunburn when it’s sunny, but Noll said that’s not the case.

“Some of the worst sunburns I see are people that normally would take good care of their skin, but on a lightly overcast or moderately overcast day they feel they don’t need to,” said Noll.

People with fair skin are more likely to get sunburns.

However, just because you don’t have fair skin, doesn’t mean you’re safe.

“People that basically tan fairly easily or maybe don’t burn easily can get a false sense of security though, and they don’t use any sunscreen, and they can have longer problems, increase melanoma risk, etcetera from the UVA rays,” said Noll.

Regardless of the season, Noll said you should take precautions to protect your skin any time of the year.

You can get a free skin cancer screening Saturday, April 26 from 9 a.m. until noon at the Gundersen Onalaska Clinic.

Registration for the screenings starts Wednesday, April 23.

If you’d like to sign up, call Gundersen Dermatology at 608-775-6700.


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