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Cover up to keep safe this summer

04 May 2018

There may be clouds in the sky but that doesn’t mean your skin is safe! 

That’s the message skin experts are hoping to get across as summer approaches and people start shedding their shirts in an attempt to get their annual sun tan. 

With Sun Awareness week taking place from 14 to 20 May, dermatologists are taking the opportunity to highlight the dangers of spending too much time in the sun. 

And they are keen to point out that it doesn’t have to be ‘a scorcher’ before people start taking protective action.

“When the sun is blazing everyone should know the drill by now,” explained Dr Irshad Zaki a Consultant Dermatologist at Spire Parkway Hospital in Solihull, Birmingham West Midlands.

“The greatest danger is when there is cloud cover or a breeze, as it makes everything appear cooler. Clouds reduce the amount of visible light reaching the earth's surface and our skin, but don’t stop the damaging ultraviolet rays” he explained.

“Admittedly there will be ‘summer days’ when it is pouring down with rain and the clouds are so thick and grey that your umbrella and raincoat should give all the cover you need, there may be more of these days than we like! Otherwise, if the sun is shining then your skin is in danger.” 

Government figures show skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the UK and rates continue to rise resulting in over 2,500 deaths, including many young people. 

Dr Zaki added:  “In the case of young children, if it is warm enough for them to be playing out in shorts and t-shirts then the sun is usually strong enough to merit covering them in a protective cream or lotion. Children’s skin is very susceptible to sun damage. 

“I would also advise that, particularly between 11am and 3pm when the sun rays are at their strongest, put kids in long sleeved t-shirts and light, long trousers, or have indoor play time. 

“It is always better to be safe than sorry and my advice would be that if you are outdoors in summer take care. Just because you can’t feel the burn doesn’t mean you aren’t burning!”

Top tips for looking after your skin in the sun 

Wear protective clothing – the tighter the weave the better the protection

Use SPF 30+ /broad spectrum UVA sunscreen and re-apply every two hours.

Never use sunscreen to increase the amount of time you can spend in the sun.

Wear a wide brimmed hat that covers your ears and the back of your neck

 

Q: How quickly could I have a consultation, and how much would it cost? 

A: It depends on the availability of the consultant you wanted to see, but we pride ourselves on getting you fast access to diagnosis and you can often get a consultation within 24/48 hours. Initial consultation fees vary by consultant, but between £175-£250 is a reasonable guide. 

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Q: I don’t have health insurance, can I self-pay? 

A: Yes, you can. Our self-pay team can talk you through this and explain the finance options that are available, should you wish to explore them. Call 0121 704 5530, or click here to submit an online enquiry.

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