Preventing Skin Cancer
Lowering your Risk of Skin Cancer
Avoiding excessive sun exposure has been proven to reduce the risk of the common types of skin cancer.
It is especially important to protect the skin of children and adolescents as burning in these age groups is associated with increased risk of melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer. We also know that cumulative sun exposure, over time, is linked with the development of non-melanoma skin cancers (NMSCs) i.e. basal and squamous cell carcinomas.
Excess sun exposure also leads to premature skin ageing such as wrinkles and solar lentigos (sun spots) not only on the face but also on other exposed sites such as the chest, back of hands and lower legs.
We can still enjoy the sun and by carrying out a few simple measures we can enjoy it safely:
Avoid direct exposure during the hottest part of the day in the summer months i.e 12 - 4 pm. Babies should always be kept in the shade.
Clothing provides good protection and hats and UV suits which can be worn in water are widely available for children.
Hats help protect the face, ears and scalp particularly when hair is thinning. These are high-risk sites for the NMSCs as they are always exposed.
Sunscreen is also effective in providing protection from the sun, and in fair-skinned individuals, should be used daily during the summer months, even in the UK.
Sunglasses should also be worn to protect the eyes.
It is well established now that sun beds increase the risk of skin cancer and should be avoided.