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Tennessee Department of Health says it’s Time to Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek and Slide

Tennesseans Urged to Protect Skin, Eyes from Sun Damage

Tennessee Department of Health - TDOHNashville, TN – As the hours of daylight increase and spending time outdoors beckons, the Tennessee Department of Health reminds sun seekers to protect their skin and eyes with the international “Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek and Slide” message.

Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek and Slide

  • Slip on a shirt and long pants
  • Slop on 30 or higher sun protection factor sunscreen
  • Slap on a hat
  • Seek shade or shelter
  • Slide on sunglasses

“Outdoor activity is a great way to lose some of that winter weight and recharge your mental and emotional batteries,” said TDH Commissioner John Dreyzehner, MD, MPH. “But as we head for the ballpark, beach or backyard, we need to remember those welcome rays from the sun or tanning beds can age and damage skin if we don’t take proper precautions. Beyond causing wrinkles and premature aging, exposure can lead to serious disfigurement and deadly cancer. The Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek and Slide motto is a great way to remember what you need to do to protect yourself.”

Slip on a shirt and long pants

Long, loose and light shirts and pants are recommended to protect your skin from damaging ultraviolet rays. It’s important to know that even on cloudy or cool days your body is exposed to UV rays.

Unprotected skin can be damaged by the sun’s UV rays in as little as 15 minutes, yet it can take up to 12 hours for skin to show the full effect of sun exposure. ‘Long, lose and light’ is also great to remember as a way to reduce risk from mosquito and tick bites that may cause diseases such as West Nile virus, LaCrosse encephalitis and Lyme disease.

Slop on a broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF rating of 30 or higher

Whether you are in a tanning bed or outside, sunscreen lotions, oils and sprays with an SPF of 30 or more are critical for protection from dangerous UVA and UVB rays.

These rays can cause premature wrinkles and skin cancer, the most common form of cancer in the U.S. according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Slop on sunscreen liberally and often.

Slap on a hat

A hat with a wide brim will help shade the face, head, ears and neck. For those with thinning hair, it provides substantial protection from UV rays while also shielding you from sunny heat.

Seek shade or shelter

The hottest hours of the day are normally between 10:00am and 4:00pm. Sun lovers should minimize their time in open sunlight during this time for two reasons:  to reduce exposure to UV rays and to avoid heat-related problems.

If you must be outside, drink lots of water, avoid caffeinated drinks and protect your skin and eyes.

Slide on sunglasses

It’s best to wear sunglasses that wrap around and block as close to 100 percent of UVA and UVB rays as possible. The most common consequences of not wearing sunglasses in the sun are the development of cataracts and damage to retinas.

Excessive exposure to UV rays in a tanning booth or natural sunlight can cause a variety of skin cancers. According to the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention, more than 3.5 million new cases of skin cancer are diagnosed each year in the United States.

Melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer. It is usually painless initially and begins as a small spot on the skin that can be pink, tan, white, brown or black. If left untreated, the cancer cells in a melanoma can spread to other parts of the body, causing pain and death.

For more information on preventing skin cancer, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention online at www.cdc.gov/cancer/skin/basic_info/prevention.htm .

About the Tennessee Department of Health

The mission of the Tennessee Department of Health is to protect, promote and improve the health and prosperity of people in Tennessee. TDH is one of 22 cabinet-level departments in the executive branch of Tennessee state government.

Together with its six vital metro partners, TDH provides direct services for more than one in five Tennesseans annually as well as indirect services for all people in Tennessee including health professional licensure, health facility regulation and inspections of food service establishments. TDH has facilities in all 95 counties and employs more than 3,500 people.

For more information about TDH services and programs, visit http://health.state.tn.us/.


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