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Some people think about sun protection only when they spend a day at the lake, beach or pool. But, sun exposure adds up day after day, and it happens every time a person is in the sun. While brief exposures to sunlight help the body make Vitamin D to stay healthy, too much sunlight can cause cancer. That’s why sun-safe habits should begin in childhood and last a lifetime. Everyone’s skin and eyes can be affected by the sun and other forms of ultraviolet (UV) rays. Tanning occurs when UV radiation is absorbed through the skin. It causes an increase in the activity and number of melanocytes, the cells that make the pigment melanin. Melanin gives the skin its color. It also helps to block out damaging UV rays up to a point. While sunburns are thought to increase a person’s risk of skin cancer, UV exposure, even without a sunburn, can raise skin cancer risk.
Take these steps to stay sun-safe:
Additional sun-smart ideas: