Monday, 7 May 2018

Meet Molly the Mole

Nice to meet you! 
Skin cancer can come at any time so it's important to remember to check your moles regularly. 
I don't mean moles like Molly, but the ones on your body. 
Most skin cancers can be cured if they are detected early, so here are my top tips for checking your skin:
1. Check your skin regularly for changes to moles or a patch of skin.

2. Ask a friend or family member to check areas you can't see easily such as ears, scalp and back.

3. Look out for moles or patches of skin that are growing, changing shape, developing new colours, inflamed, bleeding, crusting, red around the edges, itchy or behaving unusally.

4. If in doubt get it checked by your GP or dermatologist. 

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the UK, and rates continue to rise.

At least 100,000 new cases are now diagnosed each year, and the disease kills over 2,500 people each year in the UK - that's seven people every day.
Whilst we are getting better at understanding how skin cancer works, we still have a long way to go. On average, someone who dies from skin cancer typically loses 20 years of their life, and rates of malignant melanoma are rising faster than any other type of common cancer.
UV exposure is the main preventable cause of skin cancer, so here are a few tips on how to stay safe when out in the sun:
Clothing 
Clothing should always be your first line of defence against damage from the sun, with sunscreen being used in addition to clothes, including a hat, t-shirt and UV protective sunglasses.

Find the right sunscreen
Use a sunscreen of SPF30 (SPF stands for ‘Sun Protection Factor’) and refers to the level of protection against UVB radiation, linked to skin cancer. Look for a four or ideally five-star UVA rating on the bottle which will help protect from UVA radiation, associated with skin ageing. You may also find that the UVA rating is represented by the letters ‘UVA’ inside a circle. Keep babies and toddlers should be kept out of direct sunlight.

Get your timing right
Skin needs time to absorb sunscreen, so apply generously about 20 to 30 minutes before going out. Re-apply frequently at least every two hours, as it can come off when sweating or through rubbing.

Seek shelter!
The sun tends to be strongest in the middle of the day, so find some shade typically between 11am and 3pm, especially if you are very fair skinned. Just 10 minutes of strong sunshine is all it takes to burn pale skin.
Slide on your shades - Make sure you wear UV protective sunglasses
*Information supplied from www.britishskinfoundation.org.uk

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