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The Skin We're In (2021)

Sun Safety Is Important Every Day and for All Bodies

woman sunbathing with cap
woman sunbathing with cap

Dr. Jason K. Rivers

MD, FRCPC, FAAD President, Canadian Dermatology Association

Whether you’re spending time on an outdoor deck or patio, walking in the park, biking, hiking, or working outside, it’s important to protect your skin from sun damage, premature aging, and skin cancer. Sun safety is for all bodies and for every day of the year — not just the summer months.

“Canadians will likely be craving the outdoors to enjoy the summer weather of 2021. Nonetheless, it will remain our obligation to remind everybody, regardless of skin colour, to be sun safe,” says Canadian Dermatology Association President, Dr. Jason K. Rivers.

Did you know that it takes only one blistering sunburn to double a person’s chances of developing melanoma? People of all skin tones, including brown and black skin, can get a sunburn, sun damage and skin cancer. When found early, skin cancer, including melanoma, can be cured. In 2020, approximately 8,000 Canadians were diagnosed with melanoma.

How to protect your skin for sun safety:

Recommendation from the Canadian Dermatology Association:

  • Seek shade between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.
  • Wear protective clothing, a wide-brimmed hat, and UV-protected sunglasses.
  • Use SPF 30+ broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen. Apply sunscreen generously, and reapply when required.
  • Don’t use UV tanning equipment or try to get a suntan. Avoid getting a sunburn.
  • Early detection is key. Regularly perform a skin evaluation (see a certified dermatologist if you have concerns).

What to do when you spot something suspicious

If you notice any skin, hair, or nail issues, be sure to talk to a certified dermatologist — a medical specialist doctor who is an expert at identifying and diagnosing skin cancer (your health care professional can refer you to one). “Taking measures to protect yourself and your family from the sun helps promote a lifetime of healthier skin and prevent long-term consequences,” says Dr. Rivers.

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