Students sunbathe and study on The Green in warm weather

8 Tips to Stay Safe in the Sun

May 01, 2024 Written by Cherie Ward | Photo by Jason Wang

As the weather warms up and students prepare for vacation, Student Health Services Director of Nursing and Senior Associate Director of Medical Operations Cherie Ward shares her tips for protecting your skin and staying safe this summer.

May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month. The main types of skin cancer are melanoma, basal cell and squamous cell. Many occurrences of skin cancer can be prevented and are treatable if caught early. We encourage you to stay safe while soaking up the sunshine this spring and summer. By following some key tips, you can safely enjoy the outdoors and reduce your risk of skin damage, premature aging and skin cancer. 

  • Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 30 that filters out both UVA and UVB rays. (Don’t forget the back of your neck and ears.) Be sure to use plenty and apply frequently. Protect your lips with SPF 30 lip balm.

  • Seek shade during the peak hours of the sun’s UV rays between 10 a.m.– 4 p.m. If there is no shade available, get creative and use an umbrella.

  • When possible, keep skin covered by wearing lightweight, long sleeves and pants with UV protection and a wide-brimmed hat.

  • Protect your eyes by wearing sunglasses to help prevent melanoma of the eye. Look for sunglasses that block 100 percent of UVA and UVB rays.

  • Avoid tanning beds as they omit high levels of harmful UV radiation that can burn your skin and increase your risk of skin cancer.  

  • Stay hydrated by drinking at least eight glasses of water every day, and more if spending time out in the sun. This will help keep your body and skin hydrated and help regulate your body’s temperature.  

  • Perform monthly self-skin checks so you recognize any changes in moles and your skin. Look for the ABCDE signs of melanoma. Schedule an appointment with a dermatologist for yearly skin checks and if you have any concerns.

  • Sun safety now can help avoid skin cancer years from now. Plan ahead before going on prolonged outdoor adventures. Remember SHS is here to help with any skin care concerns, including sunburn, dehydration and concerning moles or skin concerns. You can schedule an appointment through your UD Health Portal or call us at 302-831-2226.

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