HOW DOES THE SUN DAMAGE SKIN?
UV rays penetrate deep into the skin and damage cells. These cells are then at risk of becoming cancerous. You can’t feel UV damaging your skin and it happens even when the sun doesn’t feel hot.
Getting sunburnt causes the top layers of skin to release chemicals that make blood vessels swell and leak fluids. Skin turns red and feels hot and painful, and severe sunburn can lead to swelling and blisters.
“Sunburn is dangerous at any age, but it’s especially harmful in children and young people,” says Katy Scammell of Cancer Research UK’s SunSmart campaign. “Sunburn in childhood can greatly increase your risk of developing skin cancer later in life.”
After you’ve been sunburnt, the skin peels to get rid of damaged cells. Eventually, it will heal and look healthy, but permanent damage may have been done. Some experts believe that just one episode of blistering sunburn before the age of 20 can double your chance of getting malignant melanoma.
HOW TO BE SAFE IN THE SUN
Sun damage doesn’t just happen when you’re on holiday in the sun. It can happen when you’re not expecting it, for example when you go for a walk or sit in your garden.
“Sun protection is something you need to be aware of every day in the summer,” says Scammel. “Whether on holiday or at home, you can protect yourself by following the SunSmart messages.”
•Spend time in the shade between 11am and 3pm.
•Make sure you never burn.
•Aim to cover up with a T-shirt, hat and sunglasses.
•Remember to take extra care with children.
•Then use factor 15+ sunscreen.
Report mole changes or unusual skin growths to your GP.
Always take special care of children’s skin. The best way to do this is to cover them up and keep them in the shade.
BE SAFE IN THE SUN AND USE PROTECTION! IT REALLY DOES MAKE SENSE!