The sun, sunlamps, and tanning booths all give off ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Exposure to UV radiation causes early aging of the skin and skin damage that can lead to skin cancer.
People of all ages should limit the amount of time they spend in the sun, especially between mid-morning and late afternoon, and avoid other sources of UV radiation, such as tanning beds. It is important to keep in mind that UV radiation is reflected by sand, water, snow, and ice and can go through windshields and windows.
The best way to lessen UV damage when spending time in the sun is to wear long sleeves, long pants, a hat with a wide brim, and sunglasses with lenses that absorb UV radiation. Sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 may help prevent skin cancer but does not work as well as staying out of the sun and wearing protective clothing. For more information, see the How to Protect Your Skin from Sunlight page.