How to Protect Your Skin and Reduce Risk of Skin Cancer

Woman apply cream on her smooth tanned legs

The sun is out and most of us will be spending a lot more time outdoors enjoying the weather. When spending time in the sun it is crucially important to be well educated on how to protect your skin. You not only run a risk of overheating but you put yourself at risk of developing skin cancer.

According to Cancer Research UK, skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United Kingdom and one of the most common cancers in young adults aged 15-34. Over 80% of all skin cancers are caused by over-exposure to the sun or sun beds. That means that skin cancer is preventable when correctly undertaking the sun safety measures.

Remember it is not only sunbathing that counts, just by being outdoors in the sun or playing with your kids in the garden puts you at high risk if the correct sun protection is not used.

Being associated with British Skin Foundation and donating 5% of our annual profits to fund skin cancer research we feel responsible and want to share the best possible guide on how to prevent your skin from cancer.

Here is how to stay safe:

  1. If you want to look tanned try using fake tan from a bottle. It is safer than a natural tan because no sun exposure is required. Just remember that fake tan is not a sunscreen and, if you plan to go out in the sun, you will need to apply sunscreen.
  1. When spending time outdoors try to seek shade between 10am and 4pm, that is when the sun’s rays are usually strongest.
  1. Always remember to apply sun screen to entire body 30 minutes before going outside and remember to reapply every two hours.
  1. Avoid sunbathing but if you really have to then try to not over do it and try not to burn. Even a single sunburn increases your risk of developing skin cancer.
  1. Avoid tanning beds in a salon. People who use tanning beds are more likely to develop skin cancer. Even occasional sunbed use almost triples your chances of developing melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.
  1. Use a sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher every single day all year round. Even when it is cold and cloudy outside you need to wear sunscreen.
  1. Examine your skin head to toe once a month and look out for skin changes of any kind. If you find any new and unusual spot, mole or beauty mark of any kind which you haven’t noticed before seek your GP for advice.
  1. Always remember to keep newborns out of direct sunlight. Baby skin possesses little melanin and is more prone to burning. Just one severe burn in childhood doubles the chances of developing melanoma.
  1. Be aware of sun sensitive medication. Some prescription and over the counter medication including antibiotics, can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight.
  1. Remember to wear sunglasses to protect your eyes. Sun exposure can cause serious conditions to your eyes from cataracts to melanomas of the eye or eyelid.

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