Summertime is for spending time outside and soaking up the sun. Whether hiking, swimming, walking, or simply basking in the sun, you risk damaging your skin. Skin cancer is the most common of all types of cancer. This type of cancer most commonly occurs due to sun exposure on your skin. The sun produces ultraviolet radiation even when it is cloudy outside, or you cannot see the sun. Understanding the dangers associated with spending time in the sun is vital.
UV radiation is the leading cause of skin cancer, affecting millions worldwide. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that excessive UV exposure is responsible for up to 90% of non-melanoma skin cancers and a significant proportion of melanoma cases.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, 1 in 5 Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer in their lifetime. But the sun’s UV rays can cause more damage than just skin cancer.
Damaging Effects of UV Radiation
Protection Against UV Rays
Most weather apps can tell you the UV index for each day. The UV index forecasts the strength of UV rays each day. If the UV index is higher than 3, it is crucial to protect yourself. The CDC recommends the following:
How FSBP Can Help
If you are concerned about skin cancer and would like to be seen by a dermatologist, Foreign Service Benefit Plan (FSBP) can help you! As a member of FSBP, you can get care from a dermatologist (in-network or out-of-network). If you use our in-network providers, you will pay less. If you are living abroad, any dermatologist will be covered by the in-network benefit. FSBP does not require referrals to see a specialist.
In addition, you can use our telehealth services, Teladoc™ (for U.S.-based members) or vHealth (Worldwide) (for members living abroad). Teladoc™ and vHealth (Worldwide) services are 100% covered and can provide access to a doctor or specialist for non-urgent medical questions or mental health support from the comfort of your home via phone, video, or app.
You can contact Teladoc™ via phone, web, or the Aetna Health mobile app. For more information, please call 855-Teladoc (855-835-2362) or visit teladoc.com/aetna. You can contact vHealth (Worldwide) directly at +44 (0) 20 3499 2851 or +1 (0) 8572 563 784 or visit vhealth-teladochealth.com/en for more information or to register.
While the sun provides warmth and a sense of joy, we must be aware of the dangers posed by UV radiation. Skin cancer, premature aging, eye damage, weakened immune system, and sunburn are just a few of the serious risks associated with UV exposure. Protecting ourselves from harmful UV rays using sunscreen, protective clothing, and sunglasses and seeking shade during peak sun hours is vital for maintaining our health and well-being. Remember: UV rays may be invisible, but their impact on our health is all too real.