You can lower your risk of skin cancer by just wearing sunscreen, and not just at the beach or pool. But preventing the most common cancer in the U.S. means using sunscreen the right way.
"If you use sunscreen on a daily basis, an SPF of just 15, you can decrease your risk of squamous cell carcinoma, a type of skin cancer, by almost 40%," Dr. Susan Massick, a Dermatologist at Ohio State University's Wexner Medical Center, said.
Dr. Massick said the biggest sunscreen mistake people make is not using any.
"They assume they don't need it. They assume they're just going to be outside for a short period of time,” she said.
She said sunscreen should be a daily routine whether it's sunny or cloudy. She said to use a broad spectrum UVA and UVB protective sunscreen of at least SPF 25-30 every day, and to use at least SPF 50 if you have outdoor plans.
"You have to apply about a half hour before you head out the door. You can to reapply every 2-3 hours because after some period of time, it's not as protective as it once was when you first applied it," Dr. Massick said.
She said the most forgotten areas are the tops of your feet, your hands, and the exposed areas of your chest and neck. She also said not to forget to check the expiration date.
"A good rule of thumb is each spring, just buy a whole new set of sunscreens. Have them in your car. Have them in your beach bag. Have them by the door so you're always going to be applying them consistently," Dr. Massick said.
She said either mineral or chemical sunscreens are OK to use as long as there's UVA and UVB protection.