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Although the sun can be a great way to top up your Vitamin D levels, care needs to be taken to ensure Sun Safety and limit damage to your skin! A greater understanding of sun safety is worth investing your time in and will ensure you can enjoy the sun, with much less risk!
Sun Awareness Week is a campaign that aims to raise awareness of skin cancer, by offering both prevention and detection advice, with a mission to reduce sunburn, and at worst – melanoma which is the deadliest type of skin cancer, Skin Cancer Foundation (2018). Melanoma is a leading cause of cancer deaths in younger adults and more than 2,000 people die every year from this disease, NHS (2017). It is worth considering that the risk of melanoma more than doubles in people who have experienced sunburn in the past, Skin Cancer Foundation (2018), compared to those that have not, which is quite startling when considering the health implications that this could result in.
Creating awareness of sun safety in the workplace is not only relevant for employees who work outdoors and steps should be taken to address the potential damaging effects of lack of awareness surrounding the subject for all employees.
Top tips around sun safety:
1. Wear sun cream on a daily basis – your face is continually exposed to both UVA and UVB rays, with approximately 90% of UV rays penetrating light cloud. It’s worth investing in a facial sun cream that protects against UVA (four-star rating) and UVB rays of at least SPF 15 and you will find plenty on the high street at a reasonable price! Eucerin (2018)
2. Apply enough sun cream and REAPPLY sun cream – ensure that you reapply regularly, and ensure you are using enough sun cream, as a guide try to stick to around two tablespoons if you’re covering your entire body while wearing a swimming costume, NHS Choices (2016)
3. Check your sun cream is not past it’s expiry date – most sun creams have a shelf life of around 2 years, so if you’re still using the same bottle from 2012, you need to grab a new bottle asap! Skin Cancer Foundation (2008)
4. Try to stay out of the sun between 11am and 3pm – this is when the UV rays are strongest, so trying to stay in the shade and keep covered up (where possible) is the most sensible option, National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) (2014)
5. Protect your eyes from the suns rays! – without adequate protection your eyes can burn in a similar way that your skin would when exposed to the sun without protection, which could also lead to more permanent damage to the eye, NHS Choices (2016)
6. Take EXTRA care – if you are light skinned, have fair hair, have a tendency to burn, have many moles, or only experience intense sun 1 / 2 times a year, British Association of Dermatologists (2013)
7. Check your moles – unfortunately, if you have moles you have a higher risk of developing skin cancer than those who don’t, so taking extra care in the sun is very important! Ensure you are checking your moles on a regular basis and that any changes to a mole are addressed by a GP immediately, NHS (2016)
8. Sunbeds – Advice from all medical professionals are not to use sunbeds due to the dangerous concentration of UV radiation, Cancer Research UK (2017)
9. Getting a tan – Although it might seem desirable to sunbathe frequently, or every day whilst on holiday, NICE (2016) guidance concludes that there is no safe or healthy way to get a tan from sunlight and that a tan provides little protection against later exposure to sunlight, and the resulting skin damage outweighs any later protective effect.
Benefits of being sun safe!?
1. Lower risk of developing skin cancer
2. Premature skin aging is avoided
3. No painful sunburn
(NHS Choices, 2016)
New Leaf Health currently offer two services linking to skin cancer and sun protection, you can choose from our highly popular onsite mole checks, or our cancer prevention awareness day, for more info please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 01384 877 855
It is clear that staying sun safe is of great benefit to your ongoing health, so if you haven’t already considered how you’re protecting your skin, why not make the changes starting today!?
British Association of Dermatologists (2013) http://www.bad.org.uk/for-the-public/skin-cancer/sunscreen-fact-sheet
Cancer Research UK (2017) http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/causes-of-cancer/sun-uv-and-cancer/sunbeds-and-cancer
Eucerin (2018) https://www.eucerin.co.uk/about-skin/basic-skin-knowledge/sun-and-the-skin
NHS Choices (2016) https://www.nhs.uk/livewell/skin/pages/sunsafe.aspx
NHS Choices (2016) https://www.nhs.uk/news/cancer/new-nice-guidelines-on-sun-exposure-warn-tanning-is-unsafe/
NHS (2016) https://www.nhs.uk/be-clear-on-cancer/symptoms/skin-cancer#OBgAButcPOHrS9rU.97
NHS (2017) https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/melanoma-skin-cancer/ National Institute For Health And Care
Excellence (2014) https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ng34/evidence/expert-paper-7-overview-of-sunlight-exposure-messages-pdf-2311152883
National Institute For Health And Care Excellence (2016) https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ng34/resources/sunlight-exposure-risks-and-benefits-pdf-1837392363205
Skin Cancer Foundation (2008) https://www.skincancer.org/skin-cancer-information/ask-the-experts/does-sunscreen-become-ineffective-with-age
Skin Cancer Foundation (2018) https://www.skincancer.org/skin-cancer-information/melanoma
Skin Cancer Foundation (2018) https://www.skincancer.org/skin-cancer-information/skin-cancer-facts