Summer is just around the corner.
Well, it's okay, technically it does not arrive until June 21; but Saturday is the beginning of Memorial Day weekend, and around here, that means the unofficial start of summer.
It's a weekend for memorials and parades, to volunteer in the community and visit veterans. It is also a time for ball games and barbecues, for swimming pools and parks, for spending hours on the lake and for hiking in the mountains. This is the graduation season and graduation parties.
All have a common denominator: going out and having fun under the warm Colorado sun. And with a weekend forecast that requires hot days and lots of sunshine, there will be no shortage of opportunities to absorb some lightning.
That's why Dr. Michael Leslie, a dermatologist with Vanguard Skin Specialists from Pueblo Springs and Colorado Springs, has some tips to keep your skin from getting too hot.
"The best thing you can do is cover yourself with sunscreen and clothes, and avoid the sun during midday, from 10 a.m. to 2 (p.m.), when the sun is more intense," Leslie said.
While magazines and pop culture want us to believe that a golden glow saturated with the sun is a bady sign of summer, experts say that red skin raises red flags.
The sun's ultraviolet or ultraviolet rays can damage your dermis in just 15 minutes, according to the Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Risks can range from premature aging of the skin or painful sunburn to life-threatening cancer.
When we talk about ultraviolet light, we are really talking about two different spectra of ultraviolet radiation, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. UVA is the long-wave spectrum while UVB is short-wave radiation. There has been a lot of progress and setbacks over the years when it comes to determining which spectrum is most harmful, so current recommendations say that almost all UV radiation should be avoided.
Skin cancer, according to the CDC, is the most common form of cancer in the US. UU In 2014, the most recent year for which there were CDC numbers, about 76,665 Americans were diagnosed with skin melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation.  The Environmental Protection Agency and the World Health Organization on Monday the Colorado UV index as a "very high" score of 10, putting it on par with Hawaii and the Gulf Coast and surpbaded only by New Orleans and Puerto Rico.
"With more exposure to the sun you have an increased risk of skin cancer," Leslie said. "We see a lot of that here in Colorado, especially with the number of sunny days we have and the altitude.
" We usually see some cases of melanoma per week here. "