We enjoy long hours of sunshine in most parts of India. Basking in the early-morning sun is pretty pleasurable and healthy as it promotes formation of vitamin D. However, harsh afternoon sunlight may lead to sunburn and skin damage. Prolonged exposure to the strong sunlight may also lead to skin cancer. The good news is you can prevent it with these 5 easy tips.

1. Use sunscreen year-round

Broad-spectrum sunscreens provide protection to your skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays. They have PA protection and SPF of more than 15. Wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen lotion 20 minutes prior to sun exposure. Use it even if you are indoors. Repeat application every 3-4 hours even if the SPF of your sunscreen is high. You should apply it even when it’s cloudy, as the sun rays easily penetrate clouds.

2. Stay properly covered up

While stepping out in the sun, make sure to wear a scarf, cap and clothes which properly cover you. Be aware of sun exposure during the peak hours between 10 am to 2 pm to avoid tanning and sunburns.

3. Be extra careful near water, snow and sand

Water, snow and sand reflect the sun’s rays, increasing the chances of sunburn. Take extra care of your skin when near them.

4. Check if your medicines are sun-sensitizing

Some over-the-counter drugs and antibiotics can increase your sensitivity to the sun. Ask your doctor or pharmacists about such side effects before taking the medicines.

5. Examine your skin once a month

Check for any newly developed spots or marks. Also examine changes in existing moles, freckles and birthmarks. Visit your dermatologist if the moles suddenly appear larger, red, discharge fluid or become painful. Consult the dermatologist for a professional skin exam at least once in a year.

Skin cancer is preventable. Follow these simple steps for healthy skin and keep skin cancer away.