Lov­ing the sunny days? Of course – along with your faith­fully ap­plied sun­block. Here’s how to know the skin you’re in.



• WEAR­ING SUN­SCREEN DOESN’T CAUSE VI­TA­MIN D DE­FI­CIENCY. Vi­ta­min D de­fi­ciency has been de­scribed as an epi­demic. So the choice is: skin can­cer as a re­sult of sun ex­po­sure, or low vi­ta­min D lev­els and all the at­ten­dant neg­a­tive health is­sues af­ter steer­ing clear of the sun. The US Skin Can­cer Foun­da­tion says you can have it both ways – no skin dam­age and no nutri­tional de­fi­ciency: ‘Pre­vail­ing stud­ies show that peo­ple who use sun­screen daily can main­tain their vi­ta­min D level’. Har­vard Health adds: ‘An Aus­tralian study showed no dif­fer­ence in vi­ta­min D be­tween adults ran­domly as­signed to use sun­screen one sum­mer and those as­signed a placebo cream.’ On the other hand, the WHO says UV light from the sun is a proven car­cino­gen, linked to about 90% of non-melanoma skin can­cers, about 86% of melanomas, and pre­ma­ture age­ing of the skin. • NEW MOLES ARE THE

DODGIEST ONES. Look over your skin when you’re in the shower. If there’s a change in a mole, see a der­ma­tol­o­gist to catch po­ten­tial skin can­cer early on. But if there’s a new mole, fast-track your ap­point­ment: ac­cord­ing to a re­cent study in the Jour­nal of the Amer­i­can Academy of Der­ma­tol­ogy, 29% of melanomas came from a mole that changed, whereas 71% were from new moles.


Per­haps it’s time to think about switch­ing to an EDO. Over the last 10 years, some med­i­cal schemes have in­tro­duced ‘ef­fi­cien­cy­dis­counted op­tions’. The schemes source providers and net­works that are cheaper and more ef­fi­cient than the ex­ist­ing ones, and this trans­lates into more cost-ef­fec­tive cover for their mem­bers. The down­side is be­ing re­stricted to this list. By March 2016, eight open schemes (or op­tions within the scheme) of­fered them: Mo­men­tum Health, Dis­cov­ery Health, Fed­health Med­i­cal Scheme, Lib­erty Med­i­cal Scheme, Thebe­med, Com­p­care Well­ness Med­i­cal Aid Scheme, Medi­help and Bestmed. If you’re strug­gling fi­nan­cially, ask your scheme if they are will­ing to waive the rule about chang­ing op­tions only at the be­gin­ning of the year. You won’t know un­til you ask.

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