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Expert Alert

On 'Melanoma Monday,' U of M expert advises on the ins and outs of sunscreen

May 7, 2012

Spring weather brings warmer temperatures, prom season and trips to shorelines near and far. In general, the season usually equates to more time spent in the sun.  

But U of M experts warn that exposure to UV rays – whether outside or in tanning beds many still use for so-called “base tans” – can increase your risk of developing skin cancer.

Making matters worse: one of our best weapons against the sun’s harmful UV rays – sunscreen – is often not being used properly.

A University of Minnesota expert who can discuss preventative measures to reduce your risk of developing skin cancer and the best use of sunscreen is:

DeAnn Lazovich, Ph.D., associate professor in the School of Public Health


Many people think that simply putting on sunscreen once a day is enough to protect the skin from UV rays and keep it from getting burnt, but the reality is actually quite different. 

Lazovich recently found that a lot of people use sunscreen but aren’t using it effectively. They’re either not putting enough on or don’t re-apply it as they should.

“It’s important to put on sunscreen 20 to 30 minutes before going outside, re-applying every two hours or more often if spending time in the water or if sweating, and apply about a shot-glass full of sunscreen each time,” Lazovich said.

Lazovich’s research strongly indicates that wearing protective clothing and using sunscreen on a regular basis even if no outdoor activities are planned can dramatically reduce a person’s risk of developing melanoma and other skin cancers.

Monday, May 7 is Melanoma Monday and clinics all over the country, including the University of Minnesota, will be offering free skin exams. The check-ups will assess the current damage to your skin, your risk for developing skin cancer and provide the patients with tips on how to better protect their skin.

Following Melanoma Monday, the University of Minnesota will host Cancer U: Skin Cancer on Tuesday, May 8, 2012, an event featuring research presentations around the topic of skin cancer.

To schedule an interview with Lazovich or to invite her for a live, in-studio appearance, please contact Laurel Herold, (612)-624-2449, hero0045@umn.edu, or Tim Holtz, (612) 626-4784, holtz074@umn.edu.

Expert Alert
is a service provided by the University News Service. Delivered regularly, Expert Alert is designed to connect university experts to today’s breaking news and current events. For an archive and other useful media services, visit www.umn.edu/news. Views expressed by experts do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Minnesota.

Tags: Academic Health Center

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