Cancer Society's "Don't Fry Day" a reminder that sun safety is also a concern now

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Many people will be juggling some holiday relaxation with COVID considerations this weekend.

But there is another important health matter they should keep in mind.

On top of current precautions, like social distancing, washing your hands, wearing a mask, there's one more thing, sunscreen.

Because even on hazy days you can get burned.

The American Cancer Society designates the Friday before Memorial Day as "Don't Fry Day," to remind people to protect their skin, help lessen the chance for skin cancer, which takes a heavy toll on Americans.

"There are 9500 cases of skin cancer a day diagnosed in this country. 3 million Americans will be affected by skin cancer each year, and 15-thousand Americans will die just from squamous cell cancers. We're not even talking about melanomas," says Dr. Arnold Baskies.

Dr. Baskies, the past national chairman of the Cancer Society, says melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, is still on the rise, particularly among younger adults.

Altogether, skin cancer costs the health care system 8 billion dollars a year.

But there things we can do to help prevent it.

"Avoid indoor tanning beds, seek the shade whenever possible, cover up - wear a wide-brimmed hat and sun-blocking sunglasses, and use a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays," says Dr. Baskies.

And make sure that sunscreen has an SPF of 30 or higher.

Also, reapply it at least every 2 hours - more often if you've been swimming or sweating.

And if you haven't bought fresh sunscreen this year, get some.

They do become less effective over time.
Copyright © 2020 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.