Town of Andover
Department of Public Health
Thomas Carbone, Director of Public Health
36 Bartlet St.
Andover, MA 01810
Town of North Andover
Department of Public Health
Brian LaGrasse, Director of Public Health
1600 Osgood St.
Building 20, Unit 2035
North Andover, MA 01845
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, July 15, 2016
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
*Joint Release* Andover and North Andover Health Divisions Provide Sun Safety Tips to Residents
ANDOVER – As the days continue to get warmer and residents spend more time outside, the Andover and North Andover Health Divisions would like to remind residents to practice safe sun habits.
Consequences of overexposure to the sun include sunburns, premature aging of the skin, wrinkling and skin cancer. The most preventable cause of skin cancer is exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light, either from the sun or from artificial sources like tanning beds.
In order to protect yourself, the Andover and North Andover Health Divisions recommend that residents:
- Use sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher liberally and often. Be sure to reapply every two hours and on dry skin whenever you get out of the water. Wet skin doesn’t allow for sunscreen to apply properly.
- Apply sunscreen at least 10 to 15 minutes before going outside or in the water.
- Avoid prolonged exposure to the sun. Use umbrellas at the beach and sit in the shade when possible.
- Wear hats that shade the face and neck, and shirts and long pants when temperatures allow.
- Avoid tanning booths. The ultraviolet light from the bulbs in a tanning booth is just as damaging as that from the sun, causing skin cells to mutate.
- Wear sunglasses that wrap around your face to help block as many UVA and UVB rays as possible, to protect your eyes, and to reduce the risk of cataracts.
“While we want all of our residents to have fun in the sun, it is vital that they use adequate sun protection to avoid skin damage,” said Thomas Carbone, Andover Director of Public Health. “Make sure to reapply sunscreen frequently and contact your doctor if you have any concerns about your skin.”
The sun’s UV rays are most hazardous between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. daylight savings time (9 a.m. to 3 p.m. standard time), and are strongest during the late spring and early summer months.
“It is extremely important that everyone is properly protecting themselves from the sun by using sunscreen and avoiding prolonged exposure,” said Brian LaGrasse, North Andover Director of Public Health. “While it may be tempting to skip the sunscreen to get more color, this poses serious health risks, even to those who don’t burn easily.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control, a change in your skin is the most common sign of skin cancer. Call your doctor if you have any of these signs:
- Moles that change color, shape or height.
- Bleeding or painful moles, moles that vary in color, or moles that are asymmetrical.
- Spots or bumps that get larger or harder.
For more information about sun safety or protecting your skin, contact the Andover Public Health Department at 978-623-8295 or the North Andover Public Health Department at 978-688-9540.