Summer is fast approaching and the British Skin Foundation is urging those who enjoy outdoor sports to stay safe in the sun. Whether you’re into running, golf, cycling or football – whatever your sport, it’s important to remember these top tips.
- Protect your skin with clothing – don’t forget to wear a hat that protects your face, neck and ears.
- Avoid outdoor sporting activity between 11am and 3pm if possible. This is when the sun is at its most powerful.
- 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.
If you’re still not convinced, consider these facts. Seven people die from skin cancer every day in the UK, with rates of malignant melanoma rising faster than any other type of common cancer. There are over 100,000 new cases of all skin cancers diagnosed in the UK each year and on average, someone who dies from skin cancer typically loses 20 years of their life. There are at least two 15-34 year olds being diagnosed with malignant melanoma every day in the UK.
Dr Bav Shergill, Consultant Dermatologist & British Skin Foundation Trustee explains: “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.”
Skin cancer appeal www.ittakesseven.org.uk
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