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Sun safety advice UV got to listen to

Dr Rupert Suckling, Assistant Director of Public Health at Doncaster Council.
Dr Rupert Suckling, Assistant Director of Public Health at Doncaster Council.

Sun safety is a key message this summer for Doncaster Council’s Public Health team.

Skin cancer awareness and sun safety will be top priorities during the summer months, as we encourage Doncaster residents to get out and safely enjoy the weather.

Diane Glancy, who works for the council as a Resilience Officer, had a malignant melanoma removed 20 years ago.

The melanoma was spotted after a friend urged Diane to have a mole on her back checked by her GP.

It was removed and ten days later she was told it was malignant and referred to the hospital. About a week later further surgery followed on the area of her back where the mole had been. Fortunately, the cancer had not spread so no further treatment was required, just regular checks for 5 years by the Dermatology Team at Doncaster Royal Infirmary.

She said: “Now, I always make sure I stay sun safe by sitting in the shade, wearing a hat and sunglasses and making sure I use at least a Factor 30 Sunscreen.

“By being sun aware, you can still enjoy the outdoors and have fun, while also making sure you’re respecting your skin. By following the sun safety tips you can help prevent skin cancer.

“If I am going somewhere special and want a healthy glow, I go to the beautician and have a spray tan, which means there’s no need for using sunbeds or baking in the sun.”

Public Health, http://www.doncaster.gov.uk/publichealth , has the following top ten sun safety tips:

1. Don’t be caught out, think about sun safety before going outside

2. Seek the shade between 11am and 3pm

3. Cover up by wearing long sleeves and long trousers

4. Wear a wide brimmed hat and sunglasses.

5. Use at least factor 15 SPF but preferably 30SPF+ as it offers better protection

6. Take extra care with children

7. Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration

8. Avoid sunbeds

9. Report unusual moles or skin changes to your GP

10. Remember it’s the same sun in the UK as abroad

Dr Rupert Suckling (pictured), Director of Public Health, said: “The summer is a great time of year, where we all enjoy spending time outside with friends or family while the weather is nice.

“We should remember, though, that it is the same sun in the UK as abroad. Overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun or sunbeds is the main cause of skin cancer.

“You can help protect yourself from sunburn and continue to enjoy the sun safely by using a combination of shade, clothing and sunscreen.

“When the sun is strong or you’re at risk of burning spend time in the shade between 11am and 3pm, wear a t-shirt, hat and sunglasses and use a sunscreen with at least 15SPF but 30SPF offers even better protection. Use it generously and reapply regularly.”