blue bulletin from bcidaho

Protecting your skin in the summer

Idaho has one of the highest rates of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, with about 30 cases per 100,000 people. Prolonged exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun (and even from tanning beds) can increase your risk of skin cancer, premature aging and eye damage. But by using the right tools to protect your skin, you can enjoy summer safely.

woman at the beachSimple steps for sun safety

Here are a few things you can do to protect your skin this summer.

Use sunscreen

Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a sun-protection (SPF) of at least 30. Broad-spectrum sunscreens protect against both UVA and UVB rays, offering better protection against early aging and wrinkles than a UVB-only sunscreen. Apply sunscreen to your face and body 15 minutes before going out in the sun and make sure it’s completely absorbed. Remember to reapply sunscreen every two hours, especially after swimming, sweating or using a towel.

Wear protective clothing

Wearing long sleeves or sun-protective clothing can help you avoid harmful rays from the sun, too. Sun-protective clothing lists an ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) to show how much UVA and UVB light they block. The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends clothing with a UPF of 30 or higher for good sun protection. The foundation has more information about how clothing can protect you.

Other summer safety tips

Here are some other tips from the American Cancer Society on summer sun safety:

  • Stay out of the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when it's the most intense.
  • Wear loose-fitting clothing for breathability and to avoid getting too hot.
  • Wear a hat to cover your scalp and ears and wear sunglasses to protect your eyes.
  • Limit outdoor activity to cooler hours of the day, such as the morning or evening.

See your doctor

Schedule a visit with your doctor or dermatologist today. Need to find a doctor? Members can log in to their accounts at and use our Find Care tool to find an in-network doctor.


Posted: July 5, 2023