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Protect Your Skin Today and Every Day: Don’t Fry Day 2013

Borger, Angela L.

Journal of the Dermatology Nurses' Association: March/April 2013 - Volume 5 - Issue 2 - p 66–70
doi: 10.1097/JDN.0b013e318288d18a

Did you know that the Dermatology Nurses’ Association (DNA) is a member of the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention (NCSCP; The DNA has been sending a representative to the twice-a-year meetings of the Council for many years now. From the NCSCP Web site, “The National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention is a united voice to reduce skin cancer incidence, morbidity, and mortality through awareness, prevention, early detection, research, and advocacy.” Part of their annual efforts is to coordinate and promote “Don’t Fry Day,” which is designated every year as the Friday before Memorial Day (Figure 1). This year, “Don’t Fry Day” is on May 24, 2013. This event serves as a reminder to everyone to engage in good sun safety practices and encourages sun safety awareness. The Council Web site offers the following suggestions:

* Do not burn or tan.

* Seek shade.

* Wear sun-protective clothing.

* Generously apply sunscreen.

* Use extra caution near water, snow, and sand.

* Get vitamin D safely.

In addition to these general guidelines and recommendations, in some years, the event has a specific focus. The idea is that individuals and organizations around the country will use the day as a platform for developing events and educational opportunities for the public. This event will be for many of us—that means our patients and also our families, friends, colleagues, and communities. Past efforts for “Don’t Fry Day” events have involved various groups such as United States Sailing, meteorologists, zoos and aquariums, teachers and educators, patient advocacy groups, individuals dermatologists, and of course, nurses.

Last year, in 2012, the emphasis was on three particular subsets of people. In particular, the efforts of the event were focused on “girls and young women,” “active people,” and “mothers.” From my understanding in talking to leaders coordinating this event, these groups will be the focus this year as well.

How can dermatology nurses help? Although a “Don’t Fry Day” social media toolkit is available for NCSCP members and partners, the sky is really the limit. Maybe, you would be able to reach your friends and family by posting messages about the event on Facebook before the event. Or, after the event, you might be willing to share your best photos of how to protect oneself from skin cancer. Some individuals and organizations are tweeting various messages each day the week before the event. The NCSCP has even developed a list of helpful hints and specific tweets you can send out to help promote this event (Table 1).

What if you do not post to Facebook or spend your time tweeting? Maybe your office would hold a charity car wash that weekend with all proceeds going to skin cancer research. Perhaps, you and your colleagues in your town could work together to spread the word about skin cancer prevention at local fairs and festivals, develop a program about sun awareness for the lifeguards in your community, offer to teach a class to new parents about the benefits of sun protection for their new infants, or hand out sunscreen samples during your local Memorial Day parade. These are just a few ideas to get you thinking on how you can participate in this nationwide event. To help you get started and make your contributions a success, you can look at Table 2, which offers resources and tools provided by the NCSCP. I would be interested in hearing stories about your efforts with “Don’t Fry Day” and would be excited to share your news with the JDNA readers in a future issue. Keep me posted!

In other exciting news, the JDNA sponsored a Writers Workshop at the DNA conference in New Orleans, LA, on Saturday, April 6, 2013. If you were unable to join us and are interested in submitting a manuscript but have questions or concerns before submission, do not hesitate to be in touch with me—I am sure we can provide the help and expertise you need to turn your work into a fantastic publication. The JDNA continues to promise support and encouragement to all authors wishing to become published.

The growth and success of JDNA continues. Lynn Consolmagno, MSN, ARNP, FNP-BC, a nurse practitioner in a gynecology practice and a busy radiology vascular practice, has joined the JDNA’s Editorial Board. She brings experience from a variety of backgrounds and is especially well versed in women’s health, cosmetic dermatology, and venous therapies. Lynn says, “I am delighted to have the opportunity to contribute as an author and reviewer while providing encouragement to current and future members of the JDNA, and the greater dermatology community while serving on the Editorial Board. There is a scarcity of advanced practice nurses practicing in duel specialties simultaneously and I am hopeful that my experience will awaken desire in others to become engaged in the exciting and rapidly changing roles within dermatology nursing—specifically as it relates to women’s health and dermatological sequelae of vascular disease.” We are excited to have her join the Board and welcome her contributions.

On a closing note, I wish all of you a good season and join many of you around the country as we welcome the return of warmer weather, even if this means more sun for everyone! Here’s to good sun safety practices.

Looking forward to hearing from you.


Angela L. Borger


© 2013 Dermatology Nurses' Association