With the arrival of British summertime last weekend, warmer weather and lengthier days, many of us will be starting to spend more time outdoors. But with the incidence of the most serious skin cancer in Great Britain now five times higher than it was in the 1970s, it’s now more important than ever to enjoy the sun safely.
Here’s what to do:
Wear A Hat
The areas of the skin that are most likely to develop skin cancer are those that have the most sun exposure. This includes the face, ears, neck, and lips. So whenever you’re in direct sunlight it’s always a good idea to wear a wide rimmed hat that offers protection to all these areas.
Wear The Right Factor Sun Screen
We all know wearing sunscreen is important, but are you wearing the right factor for your skin type? Cancer Research UK has a skin type and burn risk guide which helps you learn what type of skin you have and how susceptible it is to burning. Those in the Type I-III bracket should use a high factor sunscreen and those in Type IV-VI a lower factor.
Stay In The Shade
Overexposure to UV radiation is the biggest cause of skin cancer, which is why it’s really important to stay in the shade a much as possible. The sun is at its strongest between 10am-3pm, meaning you’re more likely to burn within this timeframe. According to Cancer Research UK, sunburn can double the risk of melanoma and getting painful sunburn just once every two years can triple the risk.
The arrival of the solar eclipse last month had everybody viewing it in many weird and wonderful ways – through colanders, cardboard boxes, special specs and pinhole cameras. Optometrists up and down the country were warning of the harmful and lasting effects the sun can have on your eyes, so whenever you’re out in strong sunlight remember to put your sunglasses on. It’s particularly important to wear sunglasses whenever you’re near anything that reflects the sunlight including large expanses of water, snow and large white objects such as sailing boats.
For more information on sun safety and skin cancer, visit Cancer Research UK.