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July is UV Safety Awareness Month and the perfect time to ensure you keep your skin health in check. Skin cancer is the most prevalent cancer in the U.S., with one in five people developing skin cancer in their lifetime. According to recent data, approximately 9,500 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with skin cancer daily. In the U.S., UV rays are generally most potent during June, July, and August, which tend to have the highest levels of UV radiation. Even on cloudy days, UV rays can still wreak havoc on unprotected skin. UV rays reflect off surfaces like water, cement, sand, and snow. These rays are typically strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. during the day. During these hours, it’s important to take breaks from direct exposure and keep your skin and eyes protected. Use these sun-safe strategies before you head out on any of your summer adventures: 1. Wear Protective Clothing and Gear: Sunglasses, wide-brimmed hats, and UV-protected shirts offer a barrier and keep you from overexposure. 2. Apply and Reapply: Sunscreens with a minimum SPF of 15 can reduce your risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma by about 40% and melanoma by 50%, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. 3. Seek Shade: Find an umbrella, tree, or overhang to cool off and take a break from direct sunlight. The good news is that most cases are curable if they are diagnosed and treated early enough. The American Cancer Society (ACS) recommends monthly self-exams to check for signs of skin cancer. How do you know what to look for during your self-exam? A simple way to remember the warning signs is to remember the A-B-C-D-Es of melanoma: A. Asymmetrical: Does the mole or spot have an irregular shape with two parts that look very different? B. Border: Is the border irregular or jagged? C. Color: Is the color uneven? D. Diameter: Is the mole or spot larger than the size of a pea? E. Evolving: Has the mole or spot changed during the past few weeks or months? Use the following steps to complete your skin self-exam: 1. Stand in front of a mirror and look at your face, neck, ears, and torso. Women should also check the undersides of their breasts. 2. Still facing the mirror, check under your arms. Look at both sides of your arms, hands, fingernails, and in between your fingers. 3. Sit down and check the front of your legs, starting at the thighs. Check the feet and toes, including the toenails and between the toes. 4. While seated, use the hand mirror to look at the backs of your legs and the bottoms of your feet. 5. Stand up and use the hand mirror to check your buttocks, genitals, and back. 6. Stand with your back to the full-length mirror and use the handheld mirror to look at the back of your neck, ears, and head. Part your hair to check your scalp.