Sun Awareness Week at Spire Hull and East Riding Hospital

15 April 2015

Q&A with Dr Javed Mohungoo, consultant dermatologist at Spire Hull and East Riding Hospital

How do I look after my skin now the weather is changing?

  • Clothing: Protect your skin with clothing and don’t forget to wear a hat
  • Shade: As the weather improves do spend time in the shade between 11am and 3pm when the sun is at its brightest
  • Sunscreen: Look for high protection SPF and also check for UVA protection. Apply plenty 15-30 minutes before going out in the sun and reapply every two hours

Am I at risk of getting skin cancer?

Some people are more at risk of developing skin cancer than others. The common risk factors include:

  • Skin type: People with pale skin who are prone to burning
  • Sunburn: People who have previously been severely burnt (particularly in childhood).
  • Number of moles: People with many (more than 50) ordinary moles
  • Unusual moles: People who have many atypical moles
  • Family history: Close family member who have had a melanoma
  • Previous skin cancer or supressed immune system
  • Occupation: People who work outdoors or have outdoor hobbies
  • Previous sunbed usage

How do I check my skin?

You need to look out for moles or patches of skin that are growing, changing shape, developing new colours, bleeding, crusting, red around the edges, particularly itchy, or behaving unusually.

A good way to remember what to look for is: Asymmetry, Border, Colour and Diameter.

What should I do if I find something?

If you notice any of the warning signs mentioned or are worried about any other changes taking place on your skin, you should tell your doctor as soon as possible. You might need also to see a consultant dermatologist, who is an expert in diagnosing and treating skin cancer.

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