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23
May 2022
Protecting your skin from the sun
Protecting your skin from the sun
Skin cancer mostly develops in areas that are most exposed to the sun. There are three types of skin cancer - basal skin cancer, squamous-cell cancer and melanoma, which is the deadliest form of skin cancer. While not always preventable, diagnosis can be averted by avoiding getting sunburned, which tends to occur abroad or during the summer in the UK.

Around 15,400 people are diagnosed with melanoma in the UK each year, with 51% of melanoma skin cancer cases in the UK are in males and 49% are in females.

After a warm weekend in some parts of the UK, here's a reminder of contributors to melanoma and how you can reduce your chances of diagnosis:

Here are a list of factors that can increase the risk of melanoma:
A history of blistering sunburn
The Skin Cancer Foundation states that five or more sunburns, regardless of when they occur, more than doubles your risk of developing potentially deadly melanoma, and UV damage can occur even when there is no obvious sunburn.
Use of sunbeds
Sunbeds are a popular way to bronze the skin, yet the ultraviolet radiation used can cause skin cancer. The Sunbed Association estimates there are between 3,500 and 4,000 salons in the UK, making it big business. According to Cancer Research UK, using sunbeds can increase your risk of melanoma skin cancer by up to 20%.
Patients with fair skin, freckling and light hair
Though much depends on skin type, too much exposure to harmful UV rays puts people of all skin types at risk of skin cancer. While anyone can get skin cancer regardless of their skin type, those with skin types I-II are considered to be at higher risk. The Fitzpatrick scale categorizes skin based on colour and reaction to sun exposure:


Previous non-melanoma skin cancer
Recurrent melanoma can occur in the original area months or years after treatment. If there are any miniscule cancer cells that are left behind due to being too difficult to be seen with the naked eye or on scans, they can grow in size again.
Immuno suppression
Immunosuppressed patients are at significantly increased risk of developing cutaneous malignancies. These malignancies are often more aggressive in comparison to those who are not immunosuppressed. It is believed that because the immune system destroys skin cells that have been damaged by the sun, cells are able to replicate and cause cancer if they are not removed by the immune system. Health experts also believe that in some cases, viruses such as HPV or herpes viruses are more prominent when the immune system is suppressed.
There are various was you can protect your skin from the sun, one of which is to use sunscreen. At a very minimum, you should reapply your sunscreen every 2 hours. We recommend Frezyderm sunscreen which creates the feeling of an invisible second skin for maximum UVR protection and can be purchased here:

https://medicuswellness.co.uk/product/face-care-body-new-velvet-technology-sunscreen-bundle/
Sources
https://www.royalmarsden.nhs.uk/information-gps/gp-resources/skin-cancer/skin-cancer-incidence-and-risk-factors#:~:text=Around%2015%2C400%20people%20are%20diagnosed,common%20cancer%20in%20the%20UK.

https://www.stylist.co.uk/beauty/sunbed-dangers-best-home-tanning-products/212972#:~:text=So%20why%20has%20this%20dangerous%20habit%20become%20so,salons%20in%20the%20UK%2C%20making%20it%20big%20business.

Collins L, Quinn A, Stasko T. Skin Cancer and Immunosuppression. Dermatol Clin. 2019 Jan;37(1):83-94. doi: 10.1016/j.det.2018.07.009. Epub 2018 Nov 1. PMID: 30466691.

https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/causes-of-cancer/sun-uv-and-cancer/how-do-sunbeds-cause-skin-cancer
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