The main cause of skin cancer is overexposure to harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays. And according to Gina McCarthy, assistant administrator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of Air and Radiation, "Many people still do not realize that unprotected sun exposure can lead to skin cancer and other health problems." Skin cancer affects more than two million Americans each year. That's more than breast, prostate, lung, and colon cancers combined, says the EPA.
To protect yourself from harmful UV rays, you should try to stay out of direct sunlight during the peak hours of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; cover up by wearing hats, sunglasses, and long-sleeved-shirts; wear sunscreen with an SPF 15 or higher; and stay in a shaded spot or take an umbrella with you to the beach. And if you do happen to get burned, in the latest issue of The Oprah Magazine, Dr. Oz says you can sponge your burn with cooled chamomile tea, since it contains great anti-inflammatory properties.