5 key requirements to help prevent skin cancer this summer

Welcome to summer!

You’d be forgiven for thinking we are well and truly into this season already, but alas, it’s just started. Regardless of whether it’s a scorcher or not, we need to remind you of one of the perils associated with summer – sun exposure.

Whether you’re inland or coastal, summer is jam-packed with fun, sun filled activities but as the rate of skin cancer continues to rise in Australia, it’s time something changed.

We’re certainly not suggesting you avoid days spent at the beach, BBQS, water activities, the backyard cricket or whatever it is that makes you smile, but as a nation we seem to be turning a blind eye to the dangers of not protecting ourselves correctly. Here at Just Skin, we see the impact sun exposure has on people’s skin day in, day out and constantly hear the ‘if only’ comments associated with it.

In order to have an incredible summer minus the painful sunburn or future concerns of developing skin cancer, below are 5 key things to remember.

  1. Sunscreen takes 20 minutes to sink into your skin and to start protecting you properly so make sure you apply SPF 30+ or more prior to leaving the house.
  2. If you’re spending extended time in the sun, reapply your sunscreen every two hours or more frequently if swimming or sweating.
  3. Sunscreen alone can’t keep you completely protected. Ideally, sit in the shade where possible. An umbrella or shade tent at the beach is ideal but also try to cover up with long sleeved, breathable shirts.
  4. Don’t forget about your eyes. Did you know that wearing a wide brimmed hat not only reduces the impact of UV rays on your face and neck but can reduce the amount of UV rays reaching your eyes by 50%? Combining this with a pair of sunglasses with a decent Eye Protection Factor (ideally 9 or 10) can prevent 98% of the sun’s rays impacting your eyes.
  5. Get to know your skin and check it regularly. In addition, schedule a professional skin check at least once every year. If detected and treated early, most skin cancers result in a positive outcome.

No one is immune to skin damage and skin cancer can affect anyone, regardless of skin colour. While fairer skinned people need to be more vigilant, dark skinned people are not exempted from the impact of UV rays and need to take every precaution to protect their skin as well

Skin cancer, both melanoma and non-melanoma, is the most diagnosed cancer in Australia each year, and sadly, is also the most preventable. In 2014, a staggering $137 million was paid out for Medicare claims to treat both melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers and in 2016, skin cancer led to the deaths of 1,770 Australians. *

This summer, take the time to make sure you and your family are adequately protected and then get out there and enjoy everything our beautiful nation has to offer.

 

 * Statistics provided by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

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