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Let’s say you never lie out in the sun… unless you’re on vacation. And then, for that week, you burn yourself to a crisp. That intense, intermittent sun exposure is WORSE than getting daily doses of sun. It increases the risk of melanoma more than regular exposure – like getting 15 minutes every day on your afternoon walk. That daily exposure isn’t without its own risks – but it increases a less-deadly form of skin cancer: Basal cell carcinoma. Which usually comes from cumulative sun damage. But those annual bake-a-thons at the beach are more deadly. Because that intense blast of sun overwhelms your system, weakening your skin’s defenses against melanoma. The Stanford Cancer Institute calls it “an extreme assault to our DNA.” It’s like smoking a carton of cigarettes all at once, instead of a pack a day. They’re both bad – but the carton will get you sick a lot faster. So on your daily walk – or your once-a-year beach vacation – make sure you wear SPF and reapply often.

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