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Avoid getting burned by skin cancer

By Jay Polk , Weekend Meteorologist/Reporter, jay.polk@krdo.com
Published On: Apr 21 2014 07:26:24 PM CDT

Skin cancer rates in Colorado are higher than the national average, but there are ways to keep from becoming a victim.

Colorado Springs, COLO -

When you think of skin cancer, states like Florida and California come to mind but Colorado has a higher rate of melanoma than either of those states.

The weather in Colorado may be changeable but one things is almost always constant - sunny skies.

The reason?  "We have a lot of sunshine days," said Dr. Randall Kumm of Arbor Dermatology.

Three hundred sunshine days a year on average.  With plenty of scenery to take in, people are eager to answer the call of the outdoors.

"I just go to the dog park out here and hang with my dogs and play - usually for about two hours," said Alicia Hafner of Colorado Springs.

All of that time in the sun can lead to problems, though.

"You get a lot of ultra violet," said Dr. Kumm.

If you live in Colorado you don't want to be indoors all of the time, so if you're planning to get out: "that's why we have sunscreens," said Dr. Kumm.

For it to be effective in protecting you from those burning rays, you have to use it.

Marissa Hanson of Colorado Springs is like many people who know that they should put it on.

"I just never think about it, I'm just putting on tanning lotion more than sunscreen," she said.

And something else that you should have, which can be a fashion accessory, a hat.

Art Martin of Colorado Springs knows plenty about that.

"I wear a hat every day," he said.

If you take some simple steps before you head out, you'll be able to enjoy the natural beauty of Colorado without worrying about what happens to you years down the road.

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