Skin cancer affects 1 in 5 Americans, yet it has a 95 percent cure rate when detected early. While most people know that sunscreen is a vital part of sun protection, many don’t realize the clothing they wear plays an important role, too. People tend to choose light-colored clothing to reflect the summer heat, but most don’t realize that an average weight, white cotton t-shirt only has a sun protection factor (SPF) of 7. On the other hand, a dark denim shirt has an SPF of 1,700! You are probably in the habit of packing sunscreen for a day at the beach or pool. But the sun is up there 365 days a year, and you need protection much of that time to reduce your lifetime sun-exposure total. Everyday exposure counts; you do not have to be actively sunbathing to get a damaging dose of the sun. Practice these sun-protection basics all year round to give your skin the best chance of long-term health: The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends that everyone follow these sun protection guidelines: Use a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher that provides broad-spectrum protection from both ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays; Wear protective clothing Seek shade whenever possible; Avoid outdoor activities between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when the sun’s rays are the strongest; Follow the “Shadow Rule” if your shadow is shorter than you are, the sun’s damaging rays are at their strongest and you are likely to sunburn; and Avoid tanning beds More About Dr Perry Robbins: Perry Robbins, M.D. is Professor of Dermatology and Chief of the Mohs Micrographic Surgery Unit at New York University Medical Center. He has practiced medicine for more than forty years. An accomplished educator in his field, Dr. Robins has trained more than seventy doctors from around the world who are now leaders in dermatologic and skin cancer care, and he has lectured in thirty-four countries in four languages. At present, he performs more than 1,000 surgical procedures annually and conducts training workshops for his peers in advanced techniques of dermatologic surgery.