Try some simple steps to protect yourself against skin cancer

Skin cancer is most common form of cancer in US

By Marilyn Moritz - Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - While skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the U.S., it's often preventable.

Sunburns can increase your risk of melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer.

The best way to avoid skin cancer is to shield yourself from the sun's ultraviolet rays.

Consumer Reports health editor Trisha Calvo said there are some simple steps you can take to protect yourself from the sun.

Tip No. 1: Sunscreen.

"Consumer Reports recommends using a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 40 that contains chemical active ingredients such as avobenzone. And, you want to put it on 15 minutes before you go outside," Calvo said.

But sunscreen can't do it all.

Tip No. 2: Cover up with clothing, wear sunglasses and  a wide-brimmed hat to protect your ears and back of your neck.

Tip No. 3: Step into the shade, especially when the sun's rays are strongest at 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the summer and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the winter.

Even when it's cloudy, up to 90 percent of the harmful UV rays can penetrate your skin. 

"You need to prevent sun exposure on a daily basis because the sun is out there with you and it's attacking your skin the same way it would do if you were at the beach," said Dr. Maritza Perez, a dermatologist.

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