May is skin cancer awareness month and who better to ask about these issues than our local Macmillan skin cancer specialist nurses here in Tayside – Claire Dickson and Amanda Degabriele.
We asked for some key points about skin cancer for young people living in Scotland and here are the key messages they tell people about daily… Time to pass these on…
Skin Cancer is one of the fastest rising cancers in Scotland. It is the 5th most common cancer diagnosed in Women and the 6th in men (SIGN, 2017) – we can reduce the risks by following these guidelines;
In Scotland, sun protection must be worn from April to October, even on dull days, UV rays can come through clouds.
Avoid strong sunlight between 11am – 3pm (UV index is highest)
Use sun cream with sun protection factor (spf) of 30 or above.
Do not drop SPF factor on holiday to encourage a tan; tan is DNA damage, so keep sun protection factor high.
Use spray high factor sun lotion products on babies and young children for full coverage (ideal for the little active runners that wont keep still!).
Outdoor sport people should use sport sun protection products; less nippy on the eyes (AND remember to apply and keep applying throughout sport event).
Put on sun lotion 20 minutes prior to sun exposure.
Reapply sun lotion evenly every 2hrs. Reapply after swimming.
Babies/ small children should wear UV protected full coverage swimsuits.
Be aware; wet t-shirts: once wet, the sun protected qualities are lost.
Look out for clothing (cotton or natural fibres) that show that the fabric is UV protected.
Wide brimmed hats cover ears, faces and necks…. Choose wisely.
Don’t forget about the Sunglasses- a must!
DO NOT use Sunbeds!!
Spray tan is safe…. and just as convincing!
If worried about lesions, take photos with mobile phone and repeat after 6-12 weeks to monitor changes. Seek help if you notice changes or new moles.
Still need to be convinced..? Watch this video