Skin cancer prevention can be as easy or as complicated as you make it. Prevention techniques can range from limiting time in the outdoors to making sure you apply plenty of sunscreen to having regular dermatologist check-ups. Living in Colorado and being exposed to sunlight 300 days out of the year makes it extremely important to understand the harsh effects of the sun while also understanding the steps you can take to spend as much time as you want outside while also staying safe.

One of the easiest things you can do limit your chances of developing skin cancer involves limiting the time you spend outside during peak hours where the sun’s UV rays are the harshest. These hours extend from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., which is, unfortunately, the most popular time to be outside. Even on cloudy or overcast days, UV rays can penetrate through the clouds, leaving sunburns on those who have spent too long outside or have left the house without sunscreen. If you are outside during these hours, especially for prolonged periods of time, it is important to seek shaded areas that offer relief from the sun. If you know there will be no shaded areas before-hand, make sure to wear clothing that covers the majority of your skin and utilize hats and UV-blocking sunglasses.

Avoid Tanning – Whether It’s Outside or In Tanning Beds

Because of the desire to be tan, sunburns are not uncommon, their effects often overlooked due to summer trends of maintaining a darker skin color. Melanin, a pigment found naturally in the body, can be stimulated to produce a suntan as protection from the sun. Some people do not produce enough of it, though, and will instead develop a sunburn. You know you are sunburned if your skin is pink or red, feels warm to the touch, forms blisters, or is painful or tender.