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Skin Cancer Awareness

Practice Safe Sun

As you head outdoors for warmer weather and fresh air, the AAD encourages you to #PracticeSafeSun. Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the U.S., and unprotected UV exposure is the most preventable risk factor for skin cancer.

To protect your skin from the sun's harmful UV rays and reduce your risk:

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Seek shade

Seek shade when appropriate, remembering that the sun’s rays are the strongest between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

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Wear sun-protective clothing

Wear a lightweight and long-sleeved shirt, pants, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses with UV protection, when possible. For more effective protection, select clothing with an ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) number on the label.

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Apply sunscreen

Apply a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher to all skin not covered by clothing. Remember to reapply every two hours or after swimming or sweating.

In addition, since skin cancer is highly treatable when detected early, the AAD encourages you to perform regular skin self-exams using the ABCDEs of melanoma. If you notice any new spots on your skin, spots that are different from others, or spots that are changing, itching, or bleeding, contact a board-certified dermatologist. Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, your dermatologist can examine the spot via telemedicine to determine if it needs to be tested or removed.

Learn more about how to prepare for your telemedicine appointment here, Telemedicine: How to prepare.


Dark- or bright-colored clothing in tightly-woven fabrics protect your skin from UV light better than light colors and fabrics that you can see through. Find more tips on choosing sun-protective clothing at What to wear to protect your skin from the sun.

Do you know how to #PracticeSafeSun? Test your knowledge

How much do you know about sun protection and skin cancer? Put your knowledge to the test.

After taking the quiz, share your results on social media to spread the word on how to #PracticeSafeSun.

A young woman wearing a wide brimmed hat and applying sunscreen to her face
How to prevent skin cancer

Follow these tips to protect your skin from the sun’s damaging UV rays and reduce your risk of skin cancer.

Say Yes to Sun Protection
Say yes to sun protection

Do you know that there are two types of sunscreens? Use this infographic to find out the difference between physical and chemical sunscreens.

How to select a sunscreen
How to select a sunscreen

Not all sunscreens can help prevent sunburn, skin cancer, and premature skin aging, like wrinkles and age spots. This infographic tells you how to choose a sunscreen that does all three.

Some skin conditions affect darker skin tones differently
Skin cancer in people of color

People of color have a lower risk of getting skin cancer than white people. But they still have a risk. Find out how to prevent skin cancer and detect it early, when it’s most treatable.

6 surprising places skin cancer develops

Skin cancer can develop on any part of the body, however some locations may surprise you. This infographic shows six places you might not think to check for skin cancer.

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Download the body mole map

Use the AAD’s body mole map to perform a skin self-exam, learn what to look for, and record your spots so you can refer back during your next visit with your dermatologist.

Download and share

Spread the word about how to #PracticeSafeSun. Download the images below and share them with your family and friends on social media.