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Learn more about sun safety this summer at Highmark Direct

Highmark Inc.

PITTSBURGH (June 3, 2016) — Outdoor summer activities can often lead to skin irritations from insect bites, poison ivy and sunburn. While most of these irritations are temporary, sunburn in particular can cause long-lasting damage to the skin.

According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, sunburns can significantly increase your risk for skin cancer and should be avoided at all costs by staying out of the sun for long periods of time and seeking shade as often as possible. Sunburns and suntans actually create DNA damage in the skin that can pave the way to skin cancer, the Skin Cancer Foundation reports.

To help raise awareness of the dangers of sun damage to the skin, Highmark will be hosting free sun safety events at its Highmark Direct stores in June and July.

The events will take place on the following dates and times at the following Highmark Direct locations:

  • Saturday, June 4 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Norman Centre II location in South Hills
  • Saturday, June 11 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Silver Springs Square location in Mechanicsburg
  • Saturday, June 25 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the McKnight Siebert Shopping Center location in North Hills
  • Saturday, July 9 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the William Penn Highway location in Monroeville
  • Saturday, July 16 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Park Center location in Dickson City
  • Saturday, July 23 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Shops at Cedar Point location in Allentown

"At Highmark, we believe we can play a role in helping to educate consumers on cancer preventive habits such as sun safety," said Marylou Buyse, M.D., M.S., senior medical director for Highmark. "And the Highmark Direct stores are a great resource in the community to reach people with the message of staying safe while being outdoors this summer."

At the sun safety events, attendees can take advantage of free DermaView photos of their face, which can show early signs of skin damage. Attendees can also receive free sun-blocking items such as hats and sunscreen, while supplies last. Highmark members can also schedule appointments with local dermatologists.

The Pirate Parrot, mascot of the Pittsburgh Pirates, will be on hand from 12 to 1 p.m. at all three Pittsburgh area events.

Champ, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders mascot, is scheduled to appear at the Dickson City location from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.; and Rascal, the Harrisburg Senators mascot, is scheduled to appear from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Mechanicsburg location.

"We encourage people to come out to this event, even if you aren't a Highmark member," said Dr. Buyse. "Learning more about sun safety can help you avoid temporary skin irritation now, and the long-term effects of skin damage that can be caused by sun exposure."

Individuals interested in attending the free event should visit to register in advance.

About Highmark Inc.

Highmark Inc. and its health insurance subsidiaries and affiliates collectively are among the ten largest health insurers in the United States and comprise the fourth-largest Blue Cross and Blue Shield-affiliated organization. Highmark and its diversified businesses and affiliates operate health insurance plans in Pennsylvania, Delaware and West Virginia that serve 5.2 million members and hundreds of thousands of additional members through the Blue Card program. Its diversified businesses serve group customer and individual needs across the United States through dental insurance, vision care and other related businesses. Highmark is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies. For more information, visit

For more information, contact:
Anthony Matrisciano
Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield