Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.


Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Sun awareness

  • Comment



VOL: 100, ISSUE: 22, PAGE NO: 33


- Excessive exposure to sunlight is implicated in skin cancer and premature ageing of the skin.



- In the UK there are 69,000 cases of skin cancer each year (Cancer Research UK, 2004).



- The vast majority of skin cancers are caused by exposure to UV radiation, either from the sun or from artificial sources.



- The incidence of skin cancer is increasing in the UK population year on year.



- Part of the reason may be our changing lifestyles, for example more people are sunbathing and taking holidays in hot climates.



- Sunlight contains both UVA and UVB radiation.



- Exposure to UVB increases the risk of basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma.



- UVB is responsible for sunburn.



- Exposure to UVA causes ageing of the skin.



- There is concern that UVA increases the risk of malignant melanoma.



There is a classification system for skin types based on a person’s complexion and responses to sun exposure.



- Type I: Very sensitive, always burns, easily goes very red in sunlight, never tans;



- Type II: Very sensitive, always burns, goes red after sunlight, minimal tan after;



- Type III: Sensitive, burns moderately, goes red, tans gradually with a light tan;



- Type IV: Moderately sensitive, rarely goes red, tans easily, goes brown;



- Type V: Minimally sensitive, rarely burns, goes brown always, develops a dark brown tan;



- Type VI: Never burns, always deeply pigmented, dark tan.



- 2004 is the second year of Cancer Research UK’s SunSmart campaign, which is a joint initiative with the government.



- The campaign is based around a five-point SunSmart message, to help people remember how to be safer in the sun and protect against skin cancer.



- Stay in the shade between 11am and 3pm.



- Make sure you never burn.



- Always cover up with a T-shirt, wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses.



- Remember to take extra care with children.



- Use a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15.



- Apply sun lotion at least 30 minutes before going out in the sun.



- Reapply it every two hours.



- Reapply sunscreen immediately after swimming.



- Sunscreens are rated with an SPF. These refer to how long skin covered with sunscreen takes to burn compared with unprotected skin. For example, skin covered with a sunscreen rated at SPF15 will take 15 times longer to burn than bare skin.



- Because SPF factors only look at burning times, they apply only to UVB rays.



- In future sunscreens may also include better protection against UVA radiation.



- Patients should be advised not to stay out in the sun longer when using a sunscreen - in the belief that their skin is protected - as this increases their exposure to UVA.



- Experts still stress the need to use sunscreen but warn people not to rely solely on it.



Skin types - find out yours:



SunSmart campaign:

  • Comment

Related files

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.