Wearing sunscreen, avoiding tanning booths and covering the skin with clothing are all effective tactics for preventing skin cancer, according to Skin Cancer Foundation. More than 90 percent of the skin cancer cases diagnosed in the United States each year are the result of exposure to the sun's ultraviolet rays.
People who spend a great deal of time in the sun or allow their skin to burn have an increased risk of developing skin cancer, according to MedlinePlus. Skin cancer is also more likely to develop in people over the age of 50, people with fair skin and light-colored hair, and people who have a family history of the disease.
Limiting exposure to ultraviolet rays helps reduce the risk of skin cancer, notes Skin Cancer Foundation. It is best to avoid direct sun exposure from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., as this is when the sun's rays are at their strongest. People outdoors should sit under a large sun umbrella or a covered picnic area during this block of time.
Because getting a sunburn increases the risk for developing melanoma, the most dangerous type of skin cancer, everyone should work to prevent burns. Sunscreen with a sun protection factor of at least 15 filters out ultraviolet rays, reducing the risk of sunburn. Adults and children should use a broad-spectrum sunscreen containing ingredients designed to filter dangerous ultraviolet A rays, as recommended by Skin Cancer Foundation.