Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center

Prevention: Melanoma & Related Skin Cancers

The single most important thing a person can do to help reduce the risk of skin cancer is to limit his or her exposure to the ultraviolet (UV) rays of the sun, particularly the midday sun (from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.). Some additional preventative steps include:

  • Wear protective clothing, including sunglasses and a hat with a four-inch brim.
  • Regularly apply broad spectrum sunscreen (UVA/UVB), with an SPF of 15 or higher to all areas of the body that are exposed to the sun, even on cloudy days.
  • Reapply sunscreen every two hours and after swimming or perspiring.
  • Avoid exposure to UV radiation from sunlamps or tanning booths.
  • Remember, sand and pavement reflect UV rays even under the umbrella. Snow is also a particularly good reflector of UV rays. These types of surfaces can reflect up to 85 percent of the damaging sun rays.
  • Carefully examine your skin every month and have annual skin cancer check-ups performed by your doctor. Tell your doctor right away if you notice any suspicious moles or spots.