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Preventing Skin Cancer: What One Addition To A Local Park Can Do To Help

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- When you go to the pool or the beach, you probably don't have to be reminded to bring along sunscreen.

But, what about when you're just out for a walk or hanging out in the park? Wouldn't it be great if there was sunscreen right at your fingertips without you having to remember to bring it?

At Mt. Lebanon Park, that's now a reality. An employee at Vujevich Dermatology in Scott came up with the idea of putting free sunscreen dispensers in parks.

"There are busy moms and people who are always on the go and they forget to reapply sunscreen and they need to be aware of protecting themselves from skin cancers," said Vujevich employee, Danielle Deroy Pirain.

After talking with her co-workers, they decided she was onto something. So she took the idea to Mt. Lebanon officials and they agreed. This sunscreen dispenser might be the first in any public park, statewide. It has SPF 30 in it, which is what the American Academy of Dermatology recommends for daily use. People seem to really like the idea.

"We always pull over here because this is the best shade in the park and I always put a sunscreen on but sometimes I forgot it because I switch bags, so this is awesome," said one woman. "I'm very excited."

"I think it's also great for anyone who's coming out of town who might've forgotten it, they can use it too," added another person.

"It's actually, I think a really ingenious idea," said another.

Vujevich Dermatology is footing the bill for the dispenser and refills all summer and into the fall, and they're hoping to put more in other local parks.

"The sunscreen dispensers are relatively inexpensive and depending on the use of the sunscreen, which we hope is a great use, that will vary," said Dr. Christie Regula of Vujevich Dermatology.

Even though most people are aware of the link between sun exposure and skin cancer, cases of melanoma- the deadliest form of skin cancer, continue to rise.

A study in 2010 found that using sunscreen every day can cut your risk of melanoma in half. So this dispenser, and other like it, could be a huge step forward in preventing skin cancer.

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