With November 20 marking the beginning of Skin Cancer Action Week, now is the perfect time of year to remind ourselves of the risk of skin cancer from summer UV exposure and touch on what we can all do to be smarter in the sun. Here are our top tips for enjoying the outdoors, summer and sun safely as the temperatures climb and UV radiation increases.
Keep the sun in mind
Aussies love the outdoors, and summer is our favourite time to be on the beach, fishing, swimming and enjoying barbecues. Unfortunately, nearly 14% of Australian adults, 24% of teenagers and 8% of children (Cancer Council Australia. 2016. Skin cancer - Cancer Council Australia. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.cancer.org.au/about-cancer/types-of-cancer/skin-cancer.html. [Accessed 07 November 2016].) will be sunburnt on an average summer weekend, and every sunburn increases the risk of developing melanoma – the deadliest skin cancer of all. Most skin cancers are preventable, so it’s critical that we take Skin Cancer Action Week as a yearly memo to use summer sun protection and indeed be sun smart all year round.
Slip, slop, slap, seek, slide
The old slip slop slap message hasn’t gone away: it’s just gotten better! The best things you can do as it gets warmer are to always slip on a rash vest or shirt for summer skin clothing protection, slop on some high factor sunscreen, slap on a wide brimmed hat, seek out or bring your own shelter or shade and slide on some sunnies with at least category 2 lenses to protect your eyes.
Particularly over the summer months, it’s wise to limit your time in the sun between 10am and 4pm when the sun is beating down the hardest – the perfect opportunity for a summer siesta!
Because we know UV is stronger over summer, we can make simple plans to ensure we’re protecting ourselves. Keep stocked up on plenty of factor 30+ sunscreen, think about bringing a shade tent to the beach or look for swimming pools with plenty of sun shelters, and ensure everyone in the family has the summer sun protection they need for your day of fun ahead.
Have any changes looked at
If you have a mole that’s changed colour, shape or size, or if you haven’t had your skin checked within the last 12 months, Skin Cancer Action Week is a fantastic time to book in your skin cancer check with one of our specialists. It’s an easy process, and once you’ve been looked over you can enjoy your sun safe summer without a worry. Free call SunDoctors Skin Cancer Clinics on 13SKIN (13 75 46) now to book your consultation.