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Mon July 16, 2012

DUPAGE COUNTY-The DuPage County Health Department reminds residents that it is important to protect yourself from the sun. Unprotected skin can be damaged by the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays in as little as 15 minutes, but it can take up to 12 hours for skin to show the full effect of sun exposure.

Rates of skin cancer are on the rise. Millions of Americans are treated for skin cancer every year.

The good news is that you can protect yourself from skin cancer. Avoiding too much UV light can help prevent skin cancer and doing skin self-exams can help you catch problems early. And, remember that UV rays from tanning beds and sunlamps are just as dangerous as the UV rays from the sun.

Whether it's hot and sunny or cool and cloudy, you should always follow these steps from the Health Department to protect yourself: 

·       Always use sunscreen. Those that offer a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher and protect against both UVA and UVB rays are best.

·       Wear clothing that protects you from the sun's rays, like long-sleeved shirts and long pants or specially made UV-protective clothing.

·       Wear a hat with a wide brim to shade the face, head, ears and neck. 

·       Wear sunglasses that wrap around and block as close to 100 percent of both UVA and UVB rays as possible.

·       When possible, stay in the shade or try not to be outside from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Be especially careful when the UV index is high.

For more information on the DuPage County Health Department, follow us on Twitter @DuPageHD or become a fan on Facebook.

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