It’s Sun Awareness Week here in the UK (May 8-14th) and we’d like to do our part by alerting you to some important facts to help keep you and your skin safe.
Whilst we might think that the sunshine at this time of year isn’t a problem, it’s a fact that it can be just as strong as it is in the summer months. We just don’t seem to realise it. Research by the British Association of Dermatologists suggests that over a third of Brits suffered from sunburn in the last year with around 25% suffering not once, not twice, but three times! And when abroad, those figures increase significantly. When will we ever learn?!
So what can you do to protect your skin from harmful rays?
- Choose a sunscreen product suitable for your skin that contains protection against both UVA (skin damaging) and UVB (sun burning) rays, and ideally nothing below SPF30 (we recommend Instant protect products available to purchase from our Reception).
- Ensure your sunscreen is absorbed into the skin before you head out into the sun (at least 15-30 minutes prior to sun exposure).
- Ensure a thick enough layer is applied (be liberal with how much you use here – better safe than sorry).
- Reapply sunscreen every two hours or after swimming/exercise to top up the protective filters which reduce over time.
- Avoid being out in the sun during the time when the sun’s rays are at their strongest (11am – 3pm). Enjoy a long lazy lunch somewhere shady instead!
- Always wear cover-up clothing to protect you – sunhat, sunglasses, t-shirt as the bare minimum.
Be a mole hunter. Have you noticed changes in your moles?
Changes to the size or shape of a mole on your skin is a sure sign that you need to get things checked out by your GP. Identifying any cancerous areas – be it a melanoma or non-melanoma – early is vital, as is taking the right course of action to deal with it.
Use the ABCD-Easy checklist below to spot the signs that might suggest you need to get checked over;
- Asymmetry – the two halves of the area may differ in shape.
- Border – the edges of the area may be irregular or blurred, and sometimes show notches.
- Colour – this may be uneven. Different shades of black, brown and pink may be seen.
- Diameter – most melanomas are at least 6mm in diameter. Report any change in size, shape or diameter to your doctor.
- Expert – if in doubt, check it out! See you GP, who if is concerned about your skin, will refer you to a Consultant Dermatologist, the most expert person to diagnose a skin cancer.
Here at The Brookdale Clinic we often have opportunities to spot changes to your skin. Our physiotherapists, podiatrist and our cosmetic skin clinician all keep detailed notes about your treatment and whilst not a guarantee, they may well be one of the first to notice a change in your skin which you might otherwise overlook. Mention any concerns to your therapist or to your GP who can give you some advice.