Take care in the sun
Looking like a lobster isn’t pretty. It’s also putting you at risk of long term skin damage. Follow some simple precautions and stay healthy
IT’S summer, it’s sunny (a lot of the time), which means everyone needs to be aware of just what that means for their skin.
Back in the day, a sun tan was a must-have fashion item. Now, while we still like to have a healthy glow, most people understand that baking ourselves under the sun’s harmful rays is asking for trouble. Too much ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun or sunbeds is the main cause of skin cancer. In the UK more than eight in 10 cases of melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer, could be prevented through enjoying the sun safely and not using sunbeds. There are two main types of UV rays that damage skin. Both can cause skin cancer. UVB is responsible for the majority of sunburns. UVA penetrates deep into the skin, ageing it.
WHAT IS SUNBURN?
Sunburn is a sign that the DNA in your skin cells has been damaged by too much UV radiation. Getting sunburnt, just once every two years, can triple your risk of melanoma skin cancer. And it doesn’t have to be raw, peeling or blistering. If your skin has gone pink or red in the sun, it’s sunburnt. For people with darker skin, it may just feel irritated, tender or itchy.
If you notice your skin becoming pink or red, you should get out of the sun and cover up to help stop any more damage. Putting on more sunscreen won’t help and won’t let you safely stay out in the sun for longer.
After-sun lotion can help sunburnt skin feel better, but it can’t repair DNA damage.
CAN SKIN CANCER SPREAD?
Melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers can be invasive. As well as growing across the surface of the skin, tumours can sometimes grow down through the layers of skin. If a tumour grows through the wall of a blood or lymph vessel, cancer cells can break off and spread to other parts of the body. Whatever your age, the best way to enjoy the sun safely and protect your skin from sunburn is to use a combination of shade, clothing and sunscreen.