Skin Cancer : Summer Sun Safety
It’s that time of year again!
The pressure is on to have the perfect toned physique, a flawless complexion, seamless hair and nails and a sun kissed skin tone colour.
Magazines are covered in celebrities, often photo shopped or surgery enhanced to look taller and slimmer and more attractive.
The over whelming desire by teenagers and adults to emulate the images on the front of these magazine covers is so great that often they are prepared to go to extreme measures that are damaging to the body particularly when opting for regular high dose sun bed tans.
With the summer break approaching and the excitement of the annual holiday in the sun the summer body conscious battle begins. The high street is a blaze of colour with this season’s wardrobe of must have summer clothes whilst travel companies tempt us with the allure of white sandy beaches and clear blue seas. So what are the impacts of too much sun on your health, your skin and your eyes and what can we do to prevent any long-term damage?
Exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays can cause damage to our skin, which can increases the chances of developing skin cancer. The rays from the sun can harm cells within your skin and leave them vulnerable.
People of all ages can get sunburnt. However young children have delicate skin and therefore need more protection. As well as people with pale skin, freckles or red and fair hair, have a number of moles, have an existing skin condition, have already been burnt or have a family with a history of skin cancer. People with darker hair and skin still need to protect against the suns UV rays as skin cancer can still occur.
Whilst enjoying the warmer weather it is vital to still stay safe in the sun. The charity Skcin promotes the first S’s of sun safety.
- Slip on a t-shirt – most people tend to burn their shoulders so having a clothing barrier between the sun and your skin can help for protection.
- Slop on SPF 30+ broad spectrum UVA sunscreen – apply sun cream 20 minutes before going outside, regularly top up your sun cream and protect your lips with lip balm.
- Slap on a broad brimmed hat – try and cover your face, neck and ears. UPF rated fabric provides better protection from the sun.
- Slide on quality sunglasses – UV radiation can also damage the retina. A quality pair of high EPF sunglasses that fit correctly will provide the best protection for your eyes.
- Shade from the sun whenever possible – especially between 11am-3pm when the sun is at its highest and most powerful.
We think about skin safety in the warm weather however it is also important to remember to use sun cream if you are outside during the winter months; skiing for example. The sun’s rays can reflect off the snow and can be 80% stronger and therefore damaging to unprotected skin. Altitude can also affect the strength of the sun’s rays – for every 1000 feet above sea level UA radiation increased by 5%, so for anyone planning to go trekking in high altitude just because the temperature drops exposure and potential skin damage remains high.
Even if you do not think that the weather is going to cause you to burn always protect your skin by using sun cream or covering up with clothing and a hat. As well as protecting your eyes and lips from the weather.
Further to this, ensuring that you are taking in the correct foods and vitamins as well as keeping hydrated whilst being outside is important to staying healthy and enjoying the sun safely, and an after care routine to include moisturising and using after sun is equally important.
Skin cancer is the 5th most common cancer in the UK with 14,500 new cases per year in the UK. This is up by +360% since the 1970’s with the main cause being over exposure to the sun and ultraviolet lights in sun beds.
As with most illnesses that can’t be prevented having a diagnosis early and access to treatment quickly is vital to recovery. The NHS gives access to everyone with cancer the facility to be treated by a cancer specialist. They will provide the different treatment routes for your condition. However for some cancer treatments the NHS does not supply all the medical options and therefore paying to go for private treatment can be a benefit.
If your family has a history of cancer and you consider yourself to possibly be high risk or if you wish to provide group medical insurance to include a cancer option to your staff as an employee benefit then information is on hand.
It is always important to receive the latest professional advice; here at BDHL we actively monitor the marketplace to guarantee our clients receive maximum health coverage for a minimum cost. We specialise in tailoring bespoke packages to meet demand as well as managing the daily succession of the policy.
Even if you have a policy already in place, either corporate or private, then the BDHL team are happy to look over it and where necessary bring it in line with modern healthcare policies.