The University of Arizona

Sun Safety

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Avoid the sun between 10am – 4pm.

  • Most skin cancers are caused by exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. Stay out of the sun as much as possible between 10am and 4pm when the rays are the strongest.
  • If you are outside between 10am and 4pm, seek shade!
  • Avoid burns and tans from both the sun and tanning beds.
  • Use extra caution when near reflective surfaces such as water, glass, concrete, sand and snow. These surfaces can increase your risk of sunburn.
  • Check the UV index to help you plan your outdoor activities. Daily UV index ratings range from 1 to 11+. The higher the number, the more you need to protect yourself from the dangers of UV exposure.

Cover up with sun safe clothing and SPF 30+ sunblock.

  • Dress in long-sleeved shirts and long pants. Darker colors and tighter weaves work best.
  • Wear a hat that shades your head, face, ears, and neck. Look for one with at least a three inch brim.
  • Protect your eyes with sunglasses that have large frames and block 99-100% of UVA/UVB rays.
  • Generously apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen or sunblock with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher on all your exposed skin 20 – 30 minutes before going outside. Reapply every two hours, even on cloudy days, and after swimming or sweating.
  • Don’t forget to use a lip balm with SPF to protect your lips!

Examine your skin regularly for anything unusual.

  • If you find skin cancer early, it is usually very treatable.
  • Look at your skin once a month for new or changing spots, bumps, or moles. If you find something suspicious, see your healthcare provider as soon as possible.
  • Get a yearly skin exam. Your healthcare provider may refer you to a dermatologist who specializes in skin cancer.
  • To learn more about examining your skin, visit our Examine Your Skin- Screening and Early Detection page.