Sun protection 101: slip, slap, slop and wrap

By Anna Yee

May 8, 2013 Updated May 8, 2013 at 10:39 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- According to the American Cancer Society, more than 75,000 Americans were diagnosed with malignant melanoma last year, that's the deadliest kind of skin cancer.

Lisa Ballou, nurse practitioner at UnityPoint Clinic at Prairie Pointe, says skin cancer is one of the most rapidly emerging cancers, but it's also one of the most preventable.

Ballou says people of every skin color can get cancer.

She warns to avoid the tanning beds and remember a simple motto before going out in the sun.

"Slip. Slap. Slop. And wrap," said Ballou.

"So, you slip on a shirt or other protective clothing.

Slap on a hat. It should ideally have a 2 to 3 inch brim to keep your neck and ears protected.

Slop. That's the generous amounts of sunscreen, and you should use an SPF 30 or above.

Wrap around the sunglasses. So, larger sunglasses with the bigger frame or wraparound will help protect against UV to protect your eyes."

Ballou says cancerous moles can also develop where your skin is not exposed to the sun.

She says it's important to get yearly skin screenings and know your family history.

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