Health Nurse Healthy Nation – Skin Health

 In Skin Health

Hello Healthy Nurses Healthy Nation Members,

In JUNE, we continue with a new theme for Health Nurse Healthy Nation – Skin Health!

Did you know men are more likely to get skin cancer than women? (Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 2017).

We want to give you some tips on maintaining healthy skin!

This week, let’s look at UV and sun protection.

Protect yourself from the sun

One of the most important ways to take care of your skin is to protect it from the sun. A lifetime of sun exposure can cause wrinkles, age spots, and other skin problems — as well as increase the risk of skin cancer.


  • Use broad spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 15 before you go outside, even on slightly cloudy or cool days.
  • Don’t forget to put a thick layer on all parts of exposed skin.
  • Get help for hard-to-reach places like your back.
  • Sunscreen works best when combined with other options to prevent UV damage.
  • Check the expiration on your sunscreen.

How sunscreen works. Most sun protection products work by absorbing, reflecting, or scattering sunlight. They contain chemicals that interact with the skin to protect it from UV rays. All products do not have the same ingredients; if your skin reacts badly to one product, try another one or call a doctor.

  • SPF. Sunscreens are assigned a sun protection factor (SPF) number that rates their effectiveness in blocking UV rays. Higher numbers indicate more protection. You should use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 15.
  • Reapplication. Sunscreen wears off. Put it on again if you stay out in the sun for more than two hours and after swimming, sweating, or toweling off.
  • Expiration date. Check the sunscreen’s expiration date. Sunscreen without an expiration date has a shelf life of no more than three years, but its shelf life is shorter if it has been exposed to high temperatures.
  • Cosmetics. Some makeup and lip balms contain some of the same chemicals used in sunscreens. If they do not have at least SPF 15, don’t use them by themselves.

SPF like a boss!

  1. Keep the sunscreen by the toothpaste.
  2. Reapply sunscreen often, especially after swimming or exercise.
  3. Check off body parts like a to-do list, including your neck, between toes, and along the hairline.
  4. Apply in circles and be sure to overlap.
  5. Save the lip gloss for after dark.  Try a lip balm with SPF
    (Hodes, 2017)

Keep calm, and SPF ON! Remember, don’t fry. Reapply J (Thanks to the reminder wristband my daughter’s friend gave me that she got from her dermatologist following a skin cancer screening!)


Mary Ellen Levine, MSN/Ed RN , Jillian Bailey, RN, and the Healthy Nurse Healthy Nation Team!


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2017x). Skin cancer: Sun safety: Tips for men.

Retrieved from

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2017x). Skin cancer: Sun safety. Retrieved from

Hodes, K. (2017, May) Fashion + Beauty: Out of the shadows. Women’s Health Magazine, p. 45-50. Rodale International.

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