Many people are surprised when they are diagnosed with skin cancer, especially those who haven’t spent a lot of time at the beach. Just because many Australians have grown up in coastal areas, it doesn’t mean that everyone enjoys spending time swimming and surfing.
As more research is undertaken about the causes of skin cancer and beach goers are starting to implement sun-smart activities, the reasons why Australians are now being diagnosed with skin cancer is beginning to change. According to a report that was recently published by the Australian Cancer Council Australia, almost 50% of weekend sunburns occur while people are doing everyday household activities.
The Australian Cancer Council studied 6,000 Australians who recorded their incidence of sunburn during the summer of 2013-14. The research found that only 29% of the subjects were sunburnt at the beach, while 21% were sunburnt participating in sport. The most surprising outcome of this study, however, was that around 50% of the participants were sunburnt while they were doing routine activities around the home.
The popular perception is that the majority of Australians get sunburnt while spending time at the beach. However, the incidence of these types of sunburn has fallen in the last few years because of the increased awareness of the long-term effects of excessive sun exposure. Australians are not only avoiding beaches during peak UV times of the day, but also implementing sun-smart activities such as wearing SPF 50+ sunscreen, hats and long- sleeve protection.
This study found that Australians are now more at risk of skin cancer when they are undertaking outdoor activities around their home – these activities might include gardening or mowing the lawn, entertaining, barbequing or any other outdoor activity. These are often times when people are so focused on what they are doing they forget to use sun-smart protection.
This latest report is a real eye-opener, because it reminds us all that beaches are not the only places where we need to worry about implementing effective sun protection, as even routine outdoor activities can prove to be a cause of sunburn and skin cancer. So whenever you are out in the sun, regardless of the place, make sure that you implement a range of protective measures to minimise the damage to your skin that is caused by UV rays.
If you have been spending too much time in the sun and not had a skin cancer check for a while, then remember to visit SunDoctors Skin Cancer Clinics and get your skin checked by a skin cancer expert. You can make an appointment online at https://sundoctors.com.au/ or call 13SKIN (13 7546).