Now that we are in the hottest month of the summer, it is important to protect your skin. Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer found in the United States. Although most forms are curable, some are not and can end up being extremely harmful.

The two most common and very curable types of skin cancer are called basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas. But the third most common type is melanoma, which is much more dangerous. It is important to protect your skin in order to avoid these consequences.

It is important to take special precaution during the midday hours (10:00 am-4:00 pm) when UV rays are strongest and do the most damage. The sun's UV rays can damage unprotected skin in as little as 15 minutes, but it might take up to 12 hours to show the full effect of the sun exposure.

Many people think that skin can not be damaged if it is not hot out, which is not true. The temperature is not what damages your skin, the UV rays are, and unfortunately clouds do not block UV rays. UV rays can also damage skin by reflecting off surfaces such as water, cement and sand.

The best way to protect yourself is not only with sunscreen, but also with what you wear. Darker colored clothing offers more protection against UV rays than lighter colors do, while hats with full brims are able to protect your neck, face and ears. Avoiding skin cancer is simple and everyone should always stay prepared.