Skin cancer survivor and expert offer valuable advice on how to keep your skin safe this summer

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The sun's rays can cause life-threatening problems. Justin Thompson remembers when baby oil was used as sun tan lotion. (KFSN)

The sun's rays can cause life-threatening problems. Justin Thompson remembers when baby oil was used as sun tan lotion.

"That's like putting it on fried chicken. You're frying yourself with baby oil."

Thompson can laugh about it now, but in 2014 he had a mole removed from his shoulder. Turned out he had stage three melanoma, so lymph nodes were also removed.

"Melanoma is one of the most deadly cancers and not a lot of people realize that."

Dr. Edgar Macias sees Thompson regularly.

With so many sun screens on the market Dr. Macias recommends products which contain zinc oxide.

"It's a sun block as opposed to a sun screen, so what that does is it reflects UV as opposed to chemical based sunscreens which only filter UV."

Make sure your sun protection factor is high enough to protect you.

"Typically for everyday use you're looking SPF 30 or greater," said Dr. Macias.

Which Dr. Macias said blocks out 97-percent of UV rays.

Thompson uses SPF 100 for his three kids.

"Oh it's SPF one million now. We go to the zoo they get sun screen from head to toe."

Many have found sun screen powders to be very effective.

"It just screws off and it's got a little brush on the end. You shake it to put some on and just brush it on the areas where you need it and it's the same thing, you re-apply every two hours," said Jason Sanchez, Physician Assistant.

Thompson said his health scare was caused by an attitude many people took in the 70's and 80's.

"We didn't even consider it summer until you got your first good burn. You know, that was your base you set your tan on."

"They look better with a tan but a tan actually represents damaged skin," said Dr. Macias.

Dr. Macias said there is no such thing as a healthy tan and he adds it is important to re-apply that sun screen throughout the day.

Related Topics:
healthcancerskin cancercaliforniaFresno
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