Here in the United Kingdom we are now experiencing summer and due to the sun appearing so sporadically, when it does shine we are eager to maximize its presence. However, this does mean that we are at increased risk from sun damage and although some people would point towards the sun's benefits (with it being necessary for vitamin D), it is estimated that we only need to spend one minute a week in the sun in order to achieve the required amount. Safety in the sun is paramount in order to avoid problems in the future.
It starts at an early age
It is estimated that the majority of our lifetime exposure to the sun takes place before we become adults. It is imperative, therefore, that our children are using effective sunscreen that covers the entire UV spectrum. Ideally you want a screen with an SPF greater than 30, though be aware that SPF does not relate at all to the ability to protect against UVA. It is also important to be aware that frequently the problem is that not enough sunscreen has been applied, so ensure that you have applied enough.
Canada is showing us the problems
It is said that skin cancer has increased in Canada by 30% and that skin cancer is the most common form of cancer there. This is a global issue and these figures reflect similar happenings elsewhere around the globe.
Check, check and check again
You should monitor your moles and birthmarks closely and make a point of checking them on a regular basis. Any changes to them whatsoever should be greeted with a visit to the doctor as these can be early indications of skin cancer.
AK prominent in outdoor workers
People who experience actinic keratosis are often people who have been exposed to the sun through a hobby or as part of their work. This means that people such as golfers and sailors are at risk, as well as gardeners. AK causes pre-cancerous lesions to form and this is as a direct result of sun exposure.
Educate them to take responsibility
Educating your children at an early age is important in order to allow them to stand them in good stead later in life when protecting themselves against the sun becomes their own responsibility. This can be done, for example, by forcing them to wear a hat whenever they go outside.
Have an awareness of different radiation
When you go on vacation is it important to consider that the level of radiation may be higher than that you have become accustomed to, and therefore you are susceptible to being sunburn. Ensure that you have an effective sunscreen in order to counteract this increase in radiation.
The facts are astounding
It is estimated that by the time a North American reaches the age of 65 that there is a one in two chance they will have experienced skin cancer. That is a high ratio - protect yourself!