Sunscreen is FSA-eligible (plus 4 sun safety tips!)

It's time to put the winter clothes away. Summer is almost here and as the weather gets nicer, our time outdoors increases. Maybe you've planned a beach getaway for Memorial Day weekend, or friends are having a BBQ soon, or you're setting time aside to enjoy the outdoors.

You may not think about adequate sun protection on a daily basis, but it makes a big difference in reducing your chance of sunburn, aging, and in the worst case, skin cancer.

Did you know that...

- Skin cancer is the most prevalent of cancers with almost 2 million people diagnosed each year.

- Melanoma cases increased from 1970 to 2009 by 800% among young women, and 400% among young men, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. Melanoma is the fifth most diagnosed cancer among men and seventh for women.

- A single indoor tanning session could increase chances that melanoma develops by 20%

Before you go out for a run, do errands, or make your way to work, consider these sun safety tips in honor of Skin Cancer Prevention Month.

1. Stock up on Sunscreen: It's FSA eligible!

Make sunscreen a must-have and check out FSA eligible sunscreen products. Though sunscreen is considered eligible, some FSA administrators might take a more cautious approach because there has been no official IRS guidance about sunscreen, so check in with your provider.

2. Prepare for Outdoor Sports

If you're headed to the beach or playing an outdoor sport, make sure to slather on broad spectrum sunscreen. Ideally it should be water-resistant and keep you covered even after strenuous exercise. Avoid outdoor activity between 10 am and 4 pm if possible as the sun's rays are strongest in that time frame. If possible, create shade if you're directly exposed to sunlight.

Be sure to reapply after swimming, and at least 30 minutes before going outside. Wear protective clothing, sunglasses and hats, especially if you know you will be outside for the majority of the day.

3. Visit a dermatologist

Dermatology is considered an FSA eligible expense. A routine body exam could give you peace of mind and a dermatologist can also guide you towards self-exams. A self exam would involve looking for unusual growths or moles - though moles are not necessarily bad news.

Find a dermatologist near you through FSAstore.com and discover the available FSA eligible services.

4. Keep kids and babies protected

Babies younger than 6 months old should be kept out of the sun. Their skin is too sensitive for sunscreen. However, starting with babies from 6 months to a year, sunscreen use and other protection (clothing, hats) are highly recommended. Toddlers and older kids require even more attention especially as they are playing outside (monitor their time spent outside given the 10 am-4 pm sun intensity schedule and ensure they are in the shade).

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