Sun safety as Britain hots up

RRV with blurred paramedic

Sun Awareness Week runs until Monday (16th May) and with more than 2,000 deaths in the UK from malignant melanoma it’s even more important to take precautions– even when the sun’s rays are tucked behind the clouds.

Sunburn can happen when you least expect it, and even if it’s cloudy or cool.

Acting Medical Director Dr Tom Davis said although a moderate amount of sunshine is recommended in order to provide essential vitamin D, failing to take precautions can be damaging, life-changing and sadly even fatal: “Protecting ourselves from the sun not only prevents painful sunburn but also significantly reduces the risk of developing skin cancer later in life.

“Even if it’s cloudy or overcast you can still burn, so make sure you apply sun screen before you go out.  Take it with you so you can top up throughout the day. Make sure you apply a sunscreen that protects you against harmful UVA and UVB rays.  A sun protection factor [SPF] of 50 gives the best protection.”

Minor sunburn is best treated by gently sponging with cool water and applying soothing after sun or calamine lotion, and there is treatment available to help ease symptoms and reduce inflammation.

And remember, if you notice any changes to moles or unusual skin growths make sure you speak to your GP.

Published 14th May, 2016

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