MILWAUKEE — Before Chris Zito starts his day as a tour guide at Brew City Kayak, he layers on sunscreen.
“Usually a half hour before I go out, then if I’m out more than two hours, I’ll put it on again,” said Zito.
His job requires him to be out in the sun all day. He said it’s important that he protects his skin.
“I got sunburned a month and a half ago on a cloudy day and my feet still got burned,” said Zito.
It’s something he encourages customers to lather on before heading out to kayak on the Milwaukee River.
“Anyone that goes out and doesn’t expect the sun to impact them is silly,” said Zito.
Dr. Callisia Clarke is the division chief of Surgical Oncology at the Medical College of Wisconsin. She’s also the director of a skin cancer-oriented team.
She’s said 1 in 5 people will be diagnosed with skin cancer by the age of 70.
“The major factor is sun exposure and recurring sun burns,” said Clarke. “Having a history of sunburns, about five sun burns over your lifetime, doubles your risk of getting skin cancers.”
She said the sun doesn’t discriminate.
“There’s a misconception that only people with fair skin can get skin cancer and melanomas and that’s really not true. All skin types are susceptible to sun damage,” said Clarke. “We see skin cancers diagnosed of all races.”
Clarke encourages those being out in the sun, even on cloudy days, to lather up with at least 30 SPF.
She also said it in important to wear protective clothing and accessories like hats. A hat is something Zito always makes sure he has on when working.
“We wear a hat to keep the sun off your head, especially if you have a little balding going on,” said Zito. “Plus, it helps you from getting overheated.”