Sun Awareness Week begins on Monday, May 4 and many of us will be hoping for a warm start to the Bank Holiday Monday and continuing throughout the month until the Whitsun school holidays.
Stay safe in the sun this summer by following these tips from the British Skin Foundation:
- Protect your skin with clothing – don’t forget to wear a hat that protects your face, neck and ears.
- Spend time in the shade between 11am and 3pm when it’s sunny.
- When choosing a sunscreen look for a high protection SPF (SPF 30 or more to protect against harmful UVA).
- Apply plenty of sunscreen 15-30 minutes before going out in the sun and reapply every two hours.
- Be sure to reapply sunscreen after swimming and towel-drying.
- Keep babies and young children out of direct sunlight.
By following this advice, you can avoid being one of these devastating facts:
Seven people die from skin cancer every day in the UK.
Over 100,000 new cases of all skin cancer diagnosed in the UK each year.
Rates of malignant melanoma are rising faster than any other type of common cancer.
On average, someone who dies from skin cancer typically loses 20 years of their life.
At least two 15-34 year-olds are being diagnosed with malignant melanoma every day in the UK.
Consultant dermatologist and British Skin Foundation trustee Dr Bav Shergill gives this advice on checking your skin: “Most skin cancers can be cured if detected early. The best way to detect skin cancer is to check your skin regularly, about once a month. You should examine the skin all over your body, from top to toe. Ask a friend or member of your family to look at areas you can’t see such as your scalp, ears and back. Look out for moles or patches of skin that are growing, changing shape, developing new colours, inflamed, bleeding, crusting, red around the edges, particularly itchy, or behaving unusually.
“Remember, if in doubt, get it checked out straight away. We recommend that you tell your doctor about any changes to a mole or patch of skin. If your GP is concerned about your skin, make sure you see a Consultant Dermatologist - an expert in diagnosing skin cancer. Your doctor can refer you for free through the NHS.”