We all can fool ourselves when it comes to “sun safety”, and precaution. It can be difficult to cover-up when taking in the warmth of the sun. After a long winter, everyone enjoys being outdoors and shedding layers of winter clothing.

But don’t fool yourself. The sun is very powerful. You need to separate myth from fact when it comes to staying safe in the sun. This week and next, we cite sun “myths” to consider:

— Myth #1: It’s a cloudy day, so I don’t need to worry about applying any sunscreen.

Fact: The American Academy of Dermatology notes that even on cloudy days up to 80% of the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays can penetrate the skin. These days can even be more dangerous because people often don’t feel the heat from the sun and so don’t cover up or use sunscreen as they normally would.

— Myth #2: I’m dark-skinned, so I really don’t need to worry about the sun.

Fact: Dark-skinned people may be at less of a risk than those who are fair-skinned, but anyone can get skin cancer.

— Myth #3: If I don’t lie on the beach, I’m safe from the sun.

Fact: The majority of patients who develop melanoma are not people who spend a lot of time at the beach. They may be outside playing tennis or golf, swimming or gardening.

– John D. Miller is the founder/owner of Home Care Partners, LLC, a Massachusetts business providing private duty, personalized in-home assistance and companion care services to those needing help in daily activities and household functions. He can be reached at: (781) 378-2164; email: jdmiller@homecarepartners.biz ; or online at: www.homecarepartnersma.com