Even on the most bracing Spring day, you’ll always see a few brave souls in t-shirts, shorts and flip flops making the most of the sun’s rays. Now that a bit of warmth has arrived, more and more of us peel off our winter thermals and expose body parts that haven’t seen daylight since last summer.
We all need to take care in the sun. As well as causing premature skin ageing, sunburn and excessive exposure to ultraviolet rays through sunshine or sunbeds causes skin cancer in about 500 Doncaster people every year. Although most cases are curable, about 12 Doncaster residents die from more serious skin cancers each year. NHS Doncaster, in partnership with DRI and Doncaster Council are running a skin cancer and sun awareness campaign in June. The SunSmart campaign has some very helpful messages to help protect you and your family.
Don’t let sunburn catch you out. It can double your risk of skin cancer so use shade, clothing and at least factor 15 sunscreen. Spend time in the shade between 11 and 3 when the sun is most damaging. Cover up with a t-shirt, hat and sunglasses when the sun is at its strongest, Use at least factor 15 sunscreen labelled ‘broad spectrum’. Use generously and regularly.
Take extra care with children. Young skin is delicate. Keep babies out of the sun, especially around midday. Avoid sunbeds. Using a sunbed once a month or more can increase your risk of cancer by more than half. Some rays can be 10-15 times stronger than the midday sun. Report unusual moles or skin changes to your doctor. Finding skin cancer early saves lives. For more information visit www.sunsmart.org.uk or call Amy Calder on 01302 566141.