FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Memorial Day is right around the corner, but first, May 26 marks National “Don’t Fry Day”. 

The National Council on Skin Care Prevention designated every Friday before Memorial Day as National “Don’t Fry Day”. The goal of this awareness campaign is to reduce the number of skin cancer diagnoses by encouraging people to protect their skin while in the sun. 

As the sun tanning season kicks off, it is common to get burnt. It is important to know the risks of overexposure in the sun, and how to use sun safety, but why pay closer attention to this? 

Carcinoma and melanoma, types of skin cancer, can have a higher risk of developing when sun overexposure happens. Cases can be more prevalent when people do not protect themselves while enjoying the sun. 

According to the Cleveland Clinic, accumulating sun exposure can cause basal cell and squamous cell skin cancer. These are more common and highly curable when treated early. 

The UV radiation from the sun causes sunburns to happen. Having severe, blistering sunburns can lead to a more serious cancer of melanoma later in life. This can appear as new spots on the skin, or spots that look different than the others. 

According to the American Cancer society, there are estimated to be about 97,610 new cases of melanoma diagnosed in 2023, and about 7,990 are expected to be fatal. 

Now the question is, how can people avoid this? 

  1. Wear your sunscreen! 

Even if it is cloudy, sunburns can still happen. The FDA recommends wearing sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher. Applying about 30 minutes before sun exposure prevents a sunburn. Even better, there are cosmetic products available that have SPF in them. Also, don’t forget to reapply sunscreen every 2-3 hours.

  1. Check the UV Index 

You can check the UV index by searching it on your browser or going to a weather report to look for UV. The picture below shows where to find it on our WANE WX App. On the 10-day forecast, you can select any day to find the UV.

You can also wear sunglasses with total UV protection. 

  1. Limit time in the sun during peak hours 

The general peak of sun exposure is 10 a.m. to 4p.m., where the rays are most intense. 

To put all of this into action, mark June 20 as your summer solstice. This is the longest day of the year, and longest time in the sun. 

You can find other resources available for “Don’t Fry Day” here