Doctor orders sun protection

editorial image

Sunshine has only made a few appearances in the skies of South Yorkshire this year - but that did not stop a TV doctor from warning of its dangers.

Dr Dawn Harper, better known to Channel 4 viewers for getting up close and personal with patients in warts and all show Embarrassing Bodies, surprised shoppers at a Sheffield supermarket to promote sun protection.

Don’t Get Burnt, a campaign running with Asda, health risks associated with UV radiation ahead of the summer season and is lobbying the government to scrap VAT charges on sunscreen.

The visit was organised after a survey revealed that 60 per cent of city residents could be wearing out-of-date suncream, while another 55 per cent of people admitted they don’t apply sunscreen frequently enough.

Dr Dawn, who was stationed in Chaucer Road’s Asda, said: ““As the sun comes out everyone is keen to enjoy the fun that comes with it. However, Brits need to take sun protection seriously. Malignant melanoma is the fastest rising common cancer in the UK and is particularly high in younger people.

“Shockingly, allowing your child to play in the sun unprotected for just ten minutes is a much higher risk than allowing them to smoke a cigarette – Just ten minutes in strong sun can be all it takes for the sun’s UVB rays to burn the skin.

“Just one episode of sunburn can trigger melanoma.

“Regular use of sunscreen in the first 18 years of life can reduce the lifetime risk of non-melanoma skin cancers by 80%. Sunburn in childhood is believed to be a primary cause of melanoma, so we are asking Brits to stay safe and slap on a capful.”

To drill the message home, Dr Dawn was accompanied by a glamourous model sporting a white bikini and a just-been-frazzled look.

Her sunburnt stomach bore a pound sign and she carried a placard bearing the slogan ‘Save Our Skin’.

Hermione Lawson, of the British Skin Foundation, said: “By the end of this summer, around 1250 people in the UK will die from skin cancer. People don’t realise it is largely preventable.”