Sun Awareness Week

Organised by British Association of Dermatologists (BAD), Sun Awareness Week will be taking place from 6-12 May 2015 and aims to raise awareness of skin cancer and exposure to the sun.

While many people associate a tan with looking healthy, a tan is actually a sign that our skin has been harmed by UV radiation and is trying to defend itself against further damage. This kind of damage can in turn increase your risk of developing skin cancer. Sunburn (i.e. skin redness) and heavy tans can never be justified and are harmful. Sun awareness week is overseen by the BAD's Skin Cancer Prevention Committee, comprised of leading medical professionals with expertise in skin cancer, vitamin D and public health messaging. The week aims to highlight both prevention and detection in the hope of reducing risk to people during the summer months where the sun is most frequent and stronger. The first aim is to encourage people to regularly self-examine for skin cancer. The second is to teach people about the dangers of sunburn and excessive tanning, and to discourage people from using sunbeds, in light of the associated risks of skin cancer. In addition to the public education BAD also aims to do behind the scenes work changing sunbed industry regulations and improving legislation. Knowing that BAD are campaigning for all this doesn’t mean that we have to avoid the sun all year, but taking a few steps when out and about in the summer sun or when on a sunshine holiday will help to protect you from sunburn and the risk of skin cancer.

  • Protect the skin with clothing, including a hat, t-shirt and UV protective sunglasses
  • Spend time in the shade between 11am and 3pm when the sun is at its strongest
  • Use a sunscreen of at least SPF 30 (SPF 50 for children or people with pale skin) which also has high UVA protection
  • Keep babies and young children out of direct sunlight
  • The British Association of Dermatologists recommends that you tell your doctor about any changes to a mole

Developed in conjunction with the Met Office, the British Association of Dermatologists created the World UV app which provides real time information on daily UV levels across over 10,000 locations from around the globe. The free app, available on both iPhone and Android operating systems, uses GPS to pinpoint your location and provide you with relevant UV information. In addition the app will educate you on your skin type and provide you with best practice advice on protecting your skin from the sun. The app can be downloaded for free from Apple's App Store and Google Play. For more information on sun awareness and your skin visit http://www.bad.org.uk/

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