Sun Awareness Week: Discover how the sun can damage your skin!

This year from the 14 – 20 May 2018 is Sun Awareness Week, which aims to raise awareness of the dangers of long exposure to the sun, and to promote safety when outside.

What damage can the sun cause?

  • Over-exposure to the sun’s rays can cause two common types of cancers. Non-melanoma, and melanoma
  • This happens when moles change shape/size or colour or if new moles look different to others

Your skin type and hair colour affects your burn rate and your likelihood of developing skin cancer.  If you have a pale skin colour or fair/red hair you should take extra care as you are more likely to easily burn.

We also must remember to protect our hands, feet and scalp from sunburn.

Things to look out for which may be signs and symptoms of melanoma are:

  • Asymmetrical: skin lesion
  • Border: of the lesion is irregular
  • Colour: melanomas usually have multiple colours
  • Diameter: moles greater than 6 mm are more likely to be melanomas than smaller moles
  • Enlarging: enlarging or evolving

Visit a doctor if moles change shape/size or bleed.  If in doubt or worried, get it checked by your GP!

For more information, please click here.

What does SPF mean?

Sun Protection Factor (SPF) tells us the amount of protection sun creams offer against UVB radiation.  UVB is the main cause of sunburn.

The higher the SPF the longer you should be able to stay in the sun without burning, BUT this depends on the amount of lotion you put on and how often you re apply.

UVA affects the elastin in the skin leading to wrinkles, leathery skin and brown pigmentation, and skin cancer.

Look on the bottle of sun cream for its UVA rating, some SPF 30 have better UVA cover than SPF 50 cream.

More information about sun creams can be found by clicking here.

Simple steps to prevent and detect skin cancers

  • Avoid unprotected UV exposure, seek shade
  • Wear sun protective clothing, a hat and sunglasses
  • Apply sun cream generously and often
  • Routinely check skin and report changes
  • Educate yourself and others

More useful information about protecting yourself from the sun

https://www.nhs.uk/livewell/skin/pages/sunsafe.aspx

Most importantly have fun in the sun but remember to stay protected!

Posted in News.