Are you sun aware?

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The simplest and most important thing to do when being sun-safe is putting on sun screen. Make sure you put on a hat, or cover your skin. It’s the easy things like this that save your skin from harmful and painful damage caused by the sun when over-exposed to the sun's rays.

Over-exposure can cause serious damage to your body, with two common types of cancers. One being non-melanoma, and melanoma, which is by far the most dangerous skin cancer. This simple reason is enough to look after your skin, stay in the shade and be safe in the sun.

Sunburn increases your risk of skin cancer - sunburn doesn't just happen on holiday abroad, you can burn in the UK. You shouldn’t avoid the sun completely, as it is an important source of vitamin D. However, to reduce the risk of skin cancer, avoid sunburn by:

  • Spend time in the shade when the sun is strongest
  • Using sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30 and a high star rating
  • Reapply sunscreen every 2 hours and/or straight after you have been in the water, even if it's water resistant sunscreen
  • Take extra care to protect babies and children as their skin is much more sensitive than adult skin
  • Covering up – wear clothes that protect you from the sun, including a hat and sunglasses

In the UK the sun is strongest between 11.00am and 3.00pm from March to October so make sure children spend that time in the shade. For further sun safety tips see the NHS website.

Check out the ABCDEasy way to check moles flyer from the British Association of Dermatologists as well as their Skindex poster and Sunscreeen Fact Sheet.

Sunbeds and sunlamps can increase your risk of developing skin cancer. Public Health England recommends that you don’t use them, except for medical reasons.

Overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) light from sun or sunbeds is the main cause of skin cancer.

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More information can be found here:

http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/skin/Pages/Sunsafe.aspx

http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/causes-of-cancer/sun-uv-and-cancer

http://www.macmillan.org.uk/information-and-support/skin-cancer/index.html