HEALTHCAST: How to keep your skin safe this summer

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – It’s that time of the year when we spend most of our time outside, but that can come with risks to our health.

“My father has been diagnosed with basal cell skin cancer back in 2009 and just recently, a couple weeks ago, he was diagnosed with Merkel cell carcinoma, which we’re in the process of treatment for that,” said CJ Heisler, a volunteer with the American Cancer Society.

Heisler knows first hand the impact skin cancer can have on a family.

“Watching someone go through skin cancer is not pretty because the side effects that that can cause,” said Heisler.

Heisler wants others to learn from his father’s situation and stay safe this summer when out in the sun.

“As I like to say, pale is the new tan. Tan doesn’t necessarily mean the cutest thing around or the sexiest thing around because you only have one skin, you only have one body, so take care of it while you have it,” said Heisler.

It’s a step as simple as putting on sunscreen at least at SPF 30 that could potentially save a life.

“Sometimes we forget or neglect the fact that we can start to have sun damage in as early as 30 minutes and we have to be really vigilant about this,” said Dr. Song Yu who works at Sparrow Urgent Care in Lansing.

Dr. Yu says the best ways to keep your skin safe include wearing protective clothing, using sunscreen, and avoiding things like sun lamps and tanning beds.

“Especially those people that have fair skin than red and dark skin are more susceptible,” said Dr. Yu.

Heisler says it’s better to be safe than sorry.

“Just take care of your skin, take care of your body, that’s all we have,” said Heisler.

For a full list of skin safety tips, click here.

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