Be sun safe this summer

18 May 2012

With the summer months fast approaching, Brits are being advised to make sure that they are protected from the sun's glare so that the warmer weather does not present a health risk.

The sun can be hazardous no matter if a person is going on a holiday to a country which basks in sweltering temperatures between June and September, or if they are enjoying a few days in the UK on a relaxing staycation.

Despite this warning though, a new survey commissioned by Superdrug to support the launch of the high-street chain's 'What's Your Factor?' campaign has highlighted that many Brits seem to be oblivious to the dangers of the sun's glare.

In fact, half of 2,000 holidaymakers questioned for the research admitted that they are likely to get sunburnt on the first day of their summer getaway.

The study also highlighted the strong desire for many people in the UK to feel like they need to obtain a golden suntan in order to call their holiday a complete success. Half of the respondents even go as far as to call their trip abroad an utter flop if they leave the destination without a decent tan.

In order to do this, some holidaymakers choose to ignore applying suntan lotion on the first day of their getaway, while many who do will stop applying the products if they have not received a perfect bronze complexion by day four of their trip.

Mel Wilson, head of health at Superdrug, understands that many Brits can feel upset at the UK having regular washout summers. However, she does not believe that this should mean that holidaymakers should leave their tanning products tucked inside their suitcase.

She underlined: "The idea that people would consider stopping all form of protection by day four of the holiday is ludicrous, they are risking a multitude of problems from burning, to heat stroke, to early ageing, and even worse, skin cancer."

Skin cancer is a particular concern where the health of members of the British public are concerned, as statistics by Cancer Research UK has highlighted.

Just take malignant melanomas incident rates. According to the health charity, the least common but most serious form of cancer had 11,767 new cases diagnosed during 2008 alone. On top of this, more than 98,800 non-melanoma skin cancer cases were recorded across the UK during the same year.

People who are concerned that they have been exposed to the sun too long have many ways to them to check if they may be suffering from skin cancer.

For one, any spot or sore which has appeared on the body after being overexposed to the sun's glare should be monitored. If these problems do not fade after four weeks or continue to itch, hurt, scab, crust or bleed constantly over this time, then medical attention should be quickly sought.

Another possible symptom of skin cancer is if an area of the skin has broken down and become an ulcer. Again, a doctor should be visited if this condition fails to heal itself within four weeks.

NHS Choices, talkhealth, Skcin and Factor 50 are all also playing their part to raise awareness about the dangers and detection of skin cancer.

The four health institutes and charities have teamed up to launch the Online Clinic on Skin Cancer and Sun Safety campaign. Opening to the public on on May 16th, the initiative will continue into June and throughout July.

People who are worried about how to keep their health in check over this time will be able to get their pressing questions answered by experts in the medical field, which includes Dr Andrew Wright, Dr Jonathan Bowling, clinical nurse specialist Saskia Reeken and speciality nurse Deborah Mills.

Topics are set to range from ways to reduce the risk of contracting skin cancer in the first place to information on how to live with the disease once it has been diagnosed.

In a press release detailing the campaign, talkhealth wrote: "If you aren't sure how to stay safe in the sun or want more tips on how to prevent skin cancer, maybe you have a mole and are concerned it could be cancer why not ask an expert in the online clinic?"

Posted by Edward Bartel

Health News is provided by Adfero in collaboration with Spire Healthcare. Please note that all copy above is ©Adfero Ltd. and does not reflect views or opinions of Spire Healthcare unless explicitly stated. Additional comments on the page from individual Spire consultants do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of other consultants or Spire Healthcare.

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