Prevent Skin Cancer and Still Have Fun in the Sun

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Hi, Dr Kevin Soden here, with the Smart Sun safety tip. In the past 40 years, the rate of the most dangerous form of skin cancer, Melanoma, has multiplied eight times for women ages 18-39, and four times for men in that same age range, so how do you safely get all the sun's vitamin D benefits? Limit your time in the sun.

You can sit in the sun for up to 20 minutes a day without sunscreen, without risking skin cancer. For example, on a sunny day in July, four minutes of mid-day sun on the fairest skin produces 1000 international units of vitamin D. The darkest skin will need 11-15 minutes for the same.

Once you've got your daily sun, here's how to protect yourself from harm. Make sure your food and supplement provide a total of 1000 international units of vitamin D3 and 1000 milligrams of calcium daily. This can cut your Melanoma risk by up to 57%. Use zinc oxide, or titanium dioxide sunscreen with a 30 spf, apply a thick layer, about 1 mm, and re-apply often.

For more ways to protect your health, watch all our smart tips, right here.