It’s getting warmer, and we’re already dreaming of the beach and pool. Nurse Rose Melendez, RN, head of Nursing Administration and the Emergency Department at Adventist HealthCare White Oak Medical Center, reminds us that it’s important to wear sunscreen any time you’re outdoors.

We all know wearing sunscreen is important, but why? 

Nurse Rose: Wearing sunscreen whenever you spend time outdoors is vital because the more sunburns you have, the more likely you are to develop skin cancer. There is really no such thing as a “healthy” tan – all exposure to the sun’s harmful UV rays boost your risk of skin cancer.

What type of sunscreen should I buy to protect my skin?

Nurse Rose: Look for these items on the label when buying sunscreen.

  • Broad Spectrum
  • SPF 30 or higher
  • Water resistant or very water resistant (for up to 40-80 hours)

How much sunscreen should I wear?

Nurse Rose: You should apply about one ounce of sunscreen every two hours or any time you get wet. When in doubt re-apply and ensure you fully cover all exposed skin.

Many of us adults have had plenty of sunburns. How can you tell if you’re developing skin cancer?

Nurse Rose: Getting a sunburn doesn’t automatically mean you’ll develop skin cancer, but it’s always a good idea to monitor your skin for any unusual changes. If you notice any of these skin cancer signs, see your doctor.

  • A mole that changes in color, size or feel or that bleeds
  • A pearly or waxy bump or a flat, flesh-colored or brown scar-like lesion, usually on the neck or face
  • A firm, red nodule or a flat lesion with a crusted surface, usually on the face, ear and hands
  • A large brownish spot with darker speckles
  • A small lesion with an irregular border and portions that appear red, white, blue or black
  • Dark lesions on your palms, soles, fingertips or toes

Don’t forget your sunscreen, hat and umbrella when you head out to the beach this summer!


Hear more health tips from Rose by tuning into WGTS 91.9 FM every Wednesday at 7:40 a.m.