After the long winter, it’s not a surprise everyone is gearing up to enjoy some fun outdoors this summer. Before heading out to catch some rays, think about protecting your skin.

As May is Melanoma Awareness Month, it’s important to know how you can prevent or minimize chances of getting skin cancer. According to the Melanoma Research Foundation, almost 65 percent of melanoma diagnoses are connected to exposure of UV rays both found outdoors or in tanning beds.

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CBS Pittsburgh’s trusted health partner HealthiNation offers this advice:

  • Stay out of the sun for extended periods of time. This is especially important during the peak hours between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Remember, the UV rays are just as powerful on cloudy days as they are on sunny days.
  • Use sunscreen daily. Use a “broad spectrum” sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher. Fair-skinned people should use SPF 30 or higher. Apply sunscreen 20 to 30 minutes before going outside and re-apply every two hours.
  • Wear protective clothing. This can include wide-brimmed hats, sunglasses and clothing with a tight weave fabric. Also, darker colors will offer more protection.
  • Get to know your skin. Check your skin for any changes, especially in moles and freckles.
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To learn more about protecting your skin, preventing melanoma and skin cancer generally, visit CBS Pittsburgh’s Skin Cancer Health Topic Center.