After last month’s blizzard and days of below-freezing temperatures, many of us are more than ready to get outside and enjoy sunnier, warmer days, especially with Daylight Saving Time beginning this weekend. But we also need to be aware of the dangers of sun exposure as we begin to pull out those shorts and t-shirts again.
To help you prepare for sunnier days, Griffin Hospital’s Chief of Plastic Surgery John Reilly, MD, will present “Be Sun Safe” on Tuesday, March 12 at 6:30 p.m. in the hospital’s Meditation and Learning Center, 130 Division Street in Derby. This free talk will discuss the dangers of sun exposure and how you can stay protected.
Dr. Reilly has more than 20 years experience in practicing medicine and is a longtime advocate for the prevention of skin cancer. He is part of a select group of physicians with Board of Medical Specialty Certification in both plastic surgery and general surgery. He specializes in cosmetic, reconstructive and hand surgery. The talk will include a question-and-answer session on skin cancer and plastic and reconstructive surgery.
Year-Round Sun Safety
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, skin cancer prevention should happen all year long, but especially after Daylight Savings. The hours between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. after Daylight Saving (9 a.m. to 3 p.m. standard time) are the most hazardous for UV exposure outdoors in the continental United States. UV rays from sunlight are the greatest during the late spring and early summer in North America.
The CDC recommends these easy options for protection from UV radiation:
- Seek shade, especially during midday hours.
- Wear clothing to protect exposed skin.
- 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% of both UVA and UVB rays as possible.
- Use sunscreen with sun protective factor (SPF) 15 or higher, and both UVA and UVB protection.
Are You at Risk?
Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States.
According to the CDC, in 2009 (the most recent year numbers are available):
- 61,646 people in the United States were diagnosed with melanomas of the skin, including 35,436 men and 26,210 women.
- 9,199 people in the United States died from melanomas of the skin, including 5,992 men and 3,207 women.
People with certain risk factors are more likely to develop skin cancer. Risk factors vary for different types of skin cancer, but some general risk factors include having:
•A lighter natural skin color
•Family history of skin cancer
•A personal history of skin cancer
•Exposure to the sun through work and play
•A history of sunburns early in life
•A history of indoor tanning
•Skin that burns, freckles, reddens easily, or becomes painful in the sun
•Blue or green eyes
•Blond or red hair
•Certain types and a large number of moles
Find out more about skin cancer and ways to prevent and protect yourself, or find out more about your risk, at “Be Sun Safe” on March 12. To register or for more information, call 203.732.1511 or visit griffinhealth.org.
About Tuesday Talks
”Be Sun Safe” is part of Griffin Hospital's Healthy U “Tuesday Talks,” a series of free wellness talks featuring Griffin Hospital medical experts and community partners providing trusted health information and answers to questions on a wide range of topics.