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Lazing in the sun with the perfume of coconut-scented tanning lotion wafting around you — is that your idea of a perfect summer day? Then it’s time to hit the reset button.
While everyone needs a little time in the sun to produce vitamin D (which helps in the absorption of calcium for stronger and healthier bones), unprotected exposure to the sun's ultraviolet rays can injure the skin, eyes, and immune system. It can also cause cancer.
Although heredity and environment play a part, dermatologists blame sunburn and too much exposure to UV rays for damaging the skin, leading to wrinkles, sun spots, and skin cancer.
Skin Check, formerly known as Sun Smarts, takes place at several Rhode Island beaches in the summer. Beachgoers get free, private screenings by expert dermatologists. The 2019 events were presented jointly by Lifespan Community Health Institute, Rhode Island Departments of Health and Environmental Management, Rhode Island 211, the United Way, Bank Newport, the Partnership to Reduce Cancer in Rhode Island, Brown Dermatology Inc., American Cancer Society, Women's Dermatologic Society, and NBC 10.
Identifying cases of skin cancer at their earliest, most treatable stage and educating the public about effective sun protection are the twin goals of Skin Check. A local couple credit the Skin Check program for discovering that the husband and wife had melanoma. Learn more about their story.
Enjoying outdoor activities is key to summer for many people. But being outside also raises concerns about insect-borne illnesses like Lyme disease, EEE, West Nile virus, and Zika.
Lyme disease is the most common, but not the only, illness caused by the bite of a black-legged deer tick. Encephalitis, or swelling of the brain, can result from a mosquito or tick bite. Lifespan’s Lyme Disease Center at Newport Hospital is a unique, multidisciplinary center entirely dedicated to the treatment of Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses.
Summer just wouldn’t be summer without a refreshing swim in a pool or the ocean.
While fun in the water goes hand in hand with hot weather, there are safety rules that everyone should know. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission created Pool Safely: Simple Steps Save Lives to help everyone enjoy their time in the water. Three keys are:
There’s useful information for beachgoers on the Rhode Island Department of Health website.
Severe reactions to jellyfish stings are very rare. If you’re stung by a jellyfish:
Seek immediate emergency medical attention if: