An officer recently brought the increased dangers of skin cancer for cops to our attention after he discovered he had Melanoma. He wanted to share his story so that more police will be aware of the dangers of policing without sun protection. Here are 8 precautions you should keep in mind while on the beat.
1. Use a sunscreen with an SPF 15 or greater year-round for all skin types. The fairer the skin, the higher the SPF should be.
2. Choose a "broad-spectrum" sunscreen that protects against UVB and UVA radiation.
3. Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before going outside, and make sure to get tougher spots like your ears, hands, and around your eyes.
4. With a job as physically active as policing, you should be using a sunscreen that is water-proof or water-resistant.
5. Don’t slack off in the winter – the sun’s reflective powers are much higher when there is snow on the ground.
6. Lips get sunburned too, so apply a lip balm that contains sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher.
7. Sunscreen should be reapplied every two hours.
8. Wear a thick hat. You can test it’s thickness by holding it up to light; if it’s thick enough, no sunlight should shine through.