28th April 2011
NHS Sheffield are backing a national campaign warning youngsters of the dangers of the sun.
Run by the British Association of Dermatologists, National Sun Awareness Week takes place from Monday, May 2 to Friday, May 5.
It gives key pointers for staying safe in the sun and guidance as to how to check for melanoma – one of the most serious types of skin cancer – by monitoring changes to skin and moles.
In Sheffield alone 112 people were diagnosed with Malignant Melanoma (the most serious form of skin cancer) in 2010, and rates of malignant melanoma cancers in the city are significantly higher than the average for the England. And new research from Cancer Research UK says that more than two people are diagnosed with melanoma in Britain every day, with numbers for people aged 15 to 35 diagnosed tripling since the late 1970s.
Dr Anthony Gore, GP, said: “Everyone enjoys being out in the sunshine, but just because a tan looks good and feels good that doesn’t mean it’s healthy for you or your skin.
“Anyone wanting to stay safe in the sun can do so by following a few simple tips: spending time in the shade when the sun’s rays are at their most intense between 11am and 3pm, using factor 15+ sunscreen, and covering more at-risk areas up with t-shirts, hats and sunglasses.
“Babies and young children are much more vulnerable to the damaging effects of the sun’s rays as they have delicate, thinner skin, so be sure to protect them by keeping them out of direct sunlight, applying factor 15+ sunscreen to their skin and putting on sunhats to shield their faces from burns.”
“Highlighting sun damage is really important, and last year’s figures prove it can make all the difference between skin cancer being detected.”
New laws introduced under the Sunbeds (Regulation) Act 2010 now mean that under-18s are banned from using sunbeds in tanning salons, gyms and leisure centres, with businesses facing fines of up to £20,000 if they flout the rules.
“The under-18 sunbed tan ban is really good news as young skin isn’t properly formed, and it’s a powerful way to send a clear message out that youngsters shouldn’t overexposure their skin to intensely harmful UV rays,” Dr Gore added.
Sheffield people should also look out for the sun awareness campaign that will be run by local pharmacies in May across Sheffield.
For more information, visit NHS Choices: www.nhs.uk/conditions/Malignant-melanoma