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Get Smart About the Sun

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Step 2: Protect These Key Spots

Every inch of you is vulnerable to skin cancer, but certain areas are at higher risk. When applying SPF, use a palm-size dose from head to toe and pay special attention to these body parts.

Left side of the face

UVA rays can penetrate glass, so driving a car puts this half in greater danger. If you're more likely to be a passenger, the reverse is true.
Tip: Apply a high-level SPF (30 or more) all over your face before a long drive -- and be sure to touch up during pit stops.

Nose

It's the leading area for facial skin cancers.
Tip: Spending more than a few minutes outdoors? Apply a double dose of sunscreen to your schnozz.

Scalp/Hairline

Melanomas found here are deadlier than anywhere else on the body. Docs think it's because they're detected later, since hair can hide them.
Tip: Wear a hat and use a light aerosol sunscreen on your part and hairline.

Ears

These are a hot spot for actinic keratoses, precancers that often turn into squamous cell carcinoma.
Tip: A sunscreen stick makes it easy to shield these often-overlooked areas. A wide-brimmed hat adds protection.

Legs

Melanomas are more common here in women than men, probably because women want tanned legs and are likely to skimp on -- or skip -- sunscreen.
Tip: Rely on self-tanner, not the sun, for color, and top it with sunscreen.

Lower Lip

Unlike the upper, it's not shaded from UV rays by the nose.
Tip: Use an SPF-rich balm or lipstick on your entire mouth. Avoid glosses; their shine may attract UV rays.

Feet

Summer sandals and flip-flops leave them more exposed.
Tip: When applying sunscreen, be sure to cover your feet thoroughly, including on and around your toes.

 

Sources: Craig Austin, MD, assistant clinical professor at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City; Dennis Gross, MD, New York City-based dermatologist and author of Your Future Face

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