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Article updated: 7/11/2013 2:04 PM

Bright ideas about sun protection

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By David Hass

DUPAGE COUNTY--While enjoying the sunshine this summer, the DuPage County Health Department reminds residents to protect themselves from the sun and avoid skin cancer.

In as little as 15 minutes, unprotected skin can be damaged by the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays. Millions of Americans are treated for skin cancer every year, but the good news is that you can protect yourself from skin cancer.

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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 sunny or cloudy, you should always follow these steps to protect yourself:

• Always use sunscreen. Those that offer a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher 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 UV rays as 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, follow us on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, or visit www.dupagehealth.org.

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