As May was Skin cancer awareness month, our Therapist, Romie has shared some useful tips and facts about the dangers of unprotected sun exposure and how to prevent sun damage.
Skin Cancer awareness month is a time for us to speak up about the dangers of skin cancer. By sharing facts about the dangers of unprotected sun exposure and encouraging people to check their skin for warning signs, we can help saving lives. Around 16000 people are diagnosed with melanoma in the UK each year. Over the last decade, the number of people diagnosed with skin cancer has increased by almost half. Fortunately skin cancer is one of the most preventable cancers.
HOW CAN WE PREVENT SKIN CANCER?
First, it is important to check your skin from head to toe, look for anything new, changing or unusual. Know your ABCDEs ( asymmetry, border, colour, diameter and evolution), these are the characteristics of skin damage that doctors look for when diagnosing and classifying melanomas. If you notice any ABCDEs make an appointment to be evaluated by your Doctor. Another important way to prevent skin cancer is a regular daily use of SPF50.
WHAT IS THE MAIN CAUSE OF SKIN CANCER?
Most skin cancers are caused by exposure to the sun or sunbeds. This may be long term exposure, or short periods of intense sun exposure and burning. The ultraviolet light in sunlight damages the DNA in our skin cells. This damage can happen years before a cancer develops.
HOW CAN WE PRACTICE SUN SAFETY?
It is essential to try to minimise your sun exposure by wearing a hat, sunglasses that can block both UVA/UVB rays. Most importantly using a broad spectrum sunscreen with sun protection factor (SPF) 50. When used as directed sunscreen is proven to decrease your risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma by about 40 percent, and lower melanoma by 50 percent.
HOW DO SUNSCREEN WORK AND HOW DOES SUNSCREEN REDUCE THE OCCURRENCE OF MELANOMA?
Sunscreen contains chemical or physical compounds that act to block ultraviolet radiation. Physical sunscreen ( mineral) ingredients block and scatter the rays before they penetrate your skin. Chemical sunscreen ingredients absorb UV rays likea sponge before they can damage your skin.
WHAT ARE SKIN DOCTOR CLINICS FAVOURITE SPF?
Here at Skin Doctor Clinics, we have a range of SPFs that can vary from chemical to physical from our favourite Medical grade skincare brands such as ZO Skin Health, SkinCeuticals and Heliocare. My personal favourite SPF is Daily Sheer from ZO Skin Health, this is a hydrating SPF factor 50 water and perspiration resistant, this non greasy sunscreen dries quickly with a sheer matte finish to shield against UVA/UVB, IR-A AND and HEV light. What I love the most about this SPF is its soothing properties and minimises inflammation. Daily sheer also promotes DNA repair and protection to prevent future skin damage. Summer months are ahead of us and I’d like to conclude with a personal tip to help you keep your skin healthy. Avoid trying to get tanned, a tan indicated your skin has been exposed to UV light and and increases your risk of developing skin cancer. We can all enjoy the warm months ahead practising all the sun safety tips mentioned earlier to enjoy your outdoor time in the beautiful weather, skin cancer safe!