Sun Safety and Skin Cancer

Sun Safety and Skin Cancer

The Facts, Prevention and Early Detection

Five Simple Steps to Sun Safety when UV Levels reach 3 or above

Slip, Slop, Slap, Slide, Shade

  1.  Slip on sun protective clothing
    – clothing can be one of the most effective barriers between our skin and the sun
    – clothing should cover as much skin as possible
    – always keep shoulders covered, they can easily burn
    – a closer weave fabric will provide better protection
    – a high UPF rated fabric provides best protection
  2. Slop on SPF 30+ sunscreen
    – no sunscreen provides complete protection
    – never rely on sunscreen alone to protect skin
    – always use a sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) 30 or above, preferably water resistant
    – Make sure it’s broad-spectrum and carries a UVA symbol (if it has a star rating, use a minimum 4 star)
    – Store in an accessible, cool place and remember to check the expiry date
    – Apply a generous amount to clean, dry, exposed skin
    – apply 20 minutes before going outdoors and once out
    – regardless of the instructions all sunscreens should be reapplied at least every 2 hours (more often if perspiring) and straight after swimming
    – Protect your lips with an SPF 30+ lip balm
  3. Slap on a wide brimmed hat
    – Wear a wide brimmed hat to shade the face, neck and ears.  Legionnaire hats (with a flap that covers the neck and joins the front peak) or a heat (with a minimum 7.5cm brim ) are the most effective.
    – A close weave or UPF rated fabric provides best protection
    – Baseball caps do not provide adequate shade
  4. Slide on quality sunglasses
    – solar UV radiation can be damaging to the eyes, so always wear quality sunglasses
    – overall protection depends on the quality of the lens as well as the design
    – look for the EU CE Mark, which indicates a safe level of protection
    – those labelled with a high EPF (which ranges from 1-10) will provide best protection
    – ensure they are close fitting and wrap around to stop solar UVR entering the sides and top
    – Remember price and darkness of the lens have no reflection on the quality of protection
  5. Shade from the sun when possible
    – shade can provide a good barrier from UV rays
    – Seek shade whenever possible, particularly at the hottest times of the day between 11am and 3pm when UV penetration is strongest
    – Keep toddlers and babies in the shade at all times
    never rely on shade alone, always combine with personal protection measures

Who is most at risk of Skin Cancer?

NO MATTER HOW EASILY WE TAN, WE ARE ALL AT RISK, However those at greater risk typically fall into one or more of the following categories:

  • Red or fair hair
  • Fair skin the burns more easily
  • lots of moles and or freckles
  • a family history of skin cancer
  • a history of sunburn
  • a history of tanning or sunbed us


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