Protect yourself from the sun

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Rates of melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer, have doubled in the last 20 years – for instance, the UK registered 14,000 cases and over 2,200 deaths last year. It is one of the most common cancers diagnosed in people aged 15–34.


Skin cancer rates in men have increased at a greater rate than females over the 20 years from 1995. Exposure to ultraviolet light in sunlight is attributed as a high-risk factor. The UK’s leading skin cancer charity, Melanoma UK, has provided its top five tips for staying protected in the sun:

Avoid burning

The early evening sun can still be a risk, especially in countries with warmer climates. Sun cream should be applied again after showering, or use an after-sun cream that offers sun protection.

Examine yourself regularly

Be vigilant and make regular checks on your skin, perhaps using the day you are paid every month as a guide. If you notice anything unusual, always seek medical advice.

Bin the base tan

The idea of a base tan protecting skin is a myth. The process of acquiring a tan damages the skin, with the skin changing colour and beginning to burn – this is the skin trying to protect itself. Short, sharp sessions on a sunbed can be up to 15 times stronger than the Mediterranean midday sun. Sunbeds should be avoided at all costs.


There is much discussion around vitamin D, and the last thing we want to see is problems caused by depletion of vitamin D. As well as sensible exposure to the sun, it is an idea to use a supplement.

Become skin aware – protect yourself

An average body needs at least 35ml of sun cream with an SPF of 15 or higher to give adequate coverage, and this should be applied around 20 minutes before you go outside. Apply sun cream again after going into water, and reapply every two hours.

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