Sun Awareness Week

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Sun Awareness is the British Association of Dermatologists’(BAD) annual campaign to raise awareness of skin cancer.

Sun Awareness is the British Association of Dermatologists’ annual campaign to raise awareness of skin cancer. The campaign runs from April to September annually and includes Sun Awareness Week in May. The campaign is two-pronged and combines prevention and detection advice.

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.

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the UK and rates have been climbing since the 1960s. Every year over 250,000 new cases of non-melanoma skin cancer – the most common type – are diagnosed, in addition to over 13,000 new cases of melanoma, resulting in around 2,148 deaths annually.

Eight out of ten people are failing to adequately apply sunscreen before going out in the sun, according to a survey carried out by the British Association of Dermatologists to mark Sun Awareness Week.

Did you know…?

80% of us don’t apply sunscreen before going out in the sun and then shortly afterwards.

70% of people fail to reapply sunscreen every two hours as recommended.

Sun Awareness and Safety

  • Sunbeds should not be used as they significantly increase the risk of skin cancer, especially as always used without photoprotection.
  • More than just brief exposure to sunlight between about 11am and 3 pm from early April to late September in the UK and year-round in tropical areas should be avoided.
  • Sunscreens should not be used to stay outside longer or just to avoid more reliable protective measures such as clothing and shade.
  • Use of protective clothing and hats
  • Vitamin D supplements, fortified foods such as fat spreads, and natural dietary sources particularly oily fish can be useful for helping to maintain levels of vitamin D
  • Vitamin D in the UK is an area under active research and debate, and is under current review by Government authorities.