Council urge people across the borough to stay sun safe

General Health tile
General Health tile

As part of Sun Awareness Week, which begins today, Doncaster Council’s Public Health team is urging people to be sun safe.

The spotlight is on the issue of skin cancer and sun safety during Sun Awareness Week, which runs from today until May 11.

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

Diane, who lives in Doncaster, went to her GP practice after a friend urged her to get a mole on her back checked out.

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.

She said: “Now, I always sit in the shade, wear a hat, sunglasses and factor 50.

“You can still enjoy the outdoors, have fun and respect your skin. By following the sun safety tips you can help prevent skin cancer.

“You can also enjoy the benefits of a tanned complexion without using sunbeds or baking in the sun by using a fake tan.”

Public Health 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 Tony Baxter, Director of Public Health, said: “We all enjoy the sunshine and especially in the summer it’s great to spend time outdoors with friends and family.

“But we should remember that it is the same sun in the UK as abroad and 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.”