Skin cancer - how you can help yourself
Avoid using sun beds and sun lamps. These use a concentrated form of UVA, making them more dangerous than natural sunlight.
The leading cause of skin cancer is over-exposure to the sun. And while we all feel better when the sun is shining, and there is evidence that sunshine is good for us (providing, for example, extra Vitamin D), there are also other dangers associated with exposure to the sun, including sunburn and premature ageing.
So it makes sense to protect ourselves from over exposure to the sun by following these few simple guidelines:
- Wear plenty of sunscreen – one which blocks UVA and UVB and has an SPF of 15 or more. Many facial moisturisers contain sunblock, and it is worth wearing these on a daily basis.
- Stay in the shade between 11am and 3pm – this is when the sun is at its strongest.
- Wear long-sleeved shirts and trousers, especially if your job involves working outdoors.
- Wear a hat – one with a wide brim is best.
- Avoid using sun beds and sun lamps. These use a concentrated form of UVA, making them more dangerous than natural sunlight. UVA can also increase the risk of developing malignant melanoma.
- Make sure your children are adequately protected too. Before going in the sun, they should be dressed appropriately, including wearing a hat, and should wear a high factor sunscreen.
For every patient seen, BPS donates £5 to SCARF (Skin Cancer Research Fund)