There is much misconception surrounding Skin Cancer and the level of precaution that should be taken at different times of the year. Namely, campaigns to promote awareness of the risks of Skin Cancer generally focus on peoples’ activities during Summer, and fail to inform people about continued imperative to protect themselves from harmful UVA and UVB rays in Winter as well.
Australia has the highest rate of skin cancer in the world – with over 90% of these incidents being caused by UVA and UVB rays. The proper application of SPF 30+ sunscreen, refraining from being under the sun during the hottest part of the day (between 10am and 4pm) and wearing skin protective clothing are just a few of many ways to prevent skin cancer. During Winter, however, many people fail to recognise the danger of the Australian sun and thus do not follow procedures to avoid Skin Cancer.
According to the latest Self Reported Health Status survey, only 26.4 percent of adults practiced three or more of the recommended sun protective behaviours in Winter, compared to in Summer, when 51.3 per cent of adults took these measures. In Queensland, the UV Index is 3 and above all year round. It is therefore important not to neglect protecting your skin in Winter, as UVA and UBA rays can cause damage throughout the entire year. It is also important to maintain regular skin checks in colder seasons, and do not skip on professional skin scans.
In particular, those partaking in Winter sports are at an increased risk of overexposure to UV radiation, due to both the reflection of UV rays by the snow and being at a higher altitude. Snow reflects up to 80 per cent of the UV light from the sun, thus increasing the risk of damage and melanoma formation.
It is therefore just as important to self-examine your skin every month of the year for any changes. It is also essential to have a professional Skin Scans and Melanoma Checks each year – regardless of the weather or perceived level of sun exposure.
At SunDoctors, great pride is taken in educating the community about skin cancer and skin cancer prevention. SunDoctors is a leading provider of skin cancer diagnosis, treatment, prevention and education. SunDoctors has clinics operating in six different locations across Queensland, and 13 across New South Wales. SunDoctors patients are ensured a rapid diagnosis, pathology and referral.
For more information about SunDoctors, to learn more about skin cancer or to book a skin cancer check, free call 13 – 7546 (13 –skin) or book online at https://www.sundoctors.com.au/.