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Antelope Valley Medical Center Offers Health Tips for Hot Summer Days

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Each summer residents here in the Antelope Valley are faced with the challenge of enjoying the warm weather while at the same time protecting themselves from the sun’s damaging rays. This is a serious matter as statistically one in five Americans will develop skin cancer over the course of their lifetime.

All indications are that this is going to be a particularly hot summer, making it more important than ever to be aware of things you can do to defend against harmful sun exposure. To help find that balance between fun and danger, Antelope Valley Medical Center offers these five simple steps and important health tips:

  • Use sunscreen. Sunscreen with an SPF (sun protection factor) of 15 or greater is one of your very best defenses against the sun. Your sunscreen should be water-resistant and reapplied after going in the water or excessively perspiring. Sunscreen should be applied 15 minutes before going out in the sun.
  • Watch the time of day. The sun’s rays are most harmful between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Schedule outdoor visits for early morning and late afternoon. If you are enjoying a day at the lake, beach or pool, have the family rest under the umbrella midday.
  • Cover up. Keep loose-fitting, long-sleeve clothing readily available during your excursions in the sun. Don’t forget hats; hoods; and, of course, sunglasses. Remember sun umbrellas, and try to create plenty of shade when spending the day outdoors.
  • Check all medicines for photosensitivity. Consult your physician or pharmacist as to whether a particular medicine is likely to produce a harmful reaction. Avoid tanning beds, booths and sun lamps which can emit dangerous rays, despite the fact that they might claim otherwise. Make a statement by choosing good health over a trendy tan!
  • Examine your skin regularly. Watch for any raised growths, itchy patches, non-healing sores, or changes in moles and freckles. Yearly check-ups by a dermatologist are recommended to keep on top of these types of skin changes. Your doctor will keep records of your skin conditions and note changes accordingly. What may look like an innocent freckle could easily be a form of skin cancer.

As an added caution Antelope Valley Medical Center and the City of Hope have teamed up to offer free skin cancer screenings to the community on Saturday, July 16, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the

City of Hope Community Resource Center at 44151 15th Street West in Lancaster. Doctors may examine arms, legs and above the chest or other areas that are of concern to participants. The screening is painless and takes only a few minutes.

Remember sun exposure is cumulative throughout a person’s lifetime, which is why it is important to start healthy sun habits as early as possible so you can enjoy a lifetime of enjoyment and protection.