Skin cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer in the UK and the number of people who are affected by it is on the rise. The rise in skin cancer is particularly fast among younger people and it is often preventable.
Too Much Sun?
Skin cancer happens as a result of UV damage to the skin. The main form of UV light that we come in contact with is the sun. In the UK, these UV rays aren’t strong enough to cause problems during most of the year. However, we do need to be careful in the summer when the stronger sun can cause more than just the occasional tan line or sunburn. We are also spending a lot more time abroad than we used to. Many of us head overseas to enjoy the stronger sun that is found in places like the Mediterranean, which can put us at increased risk of developing skin cancer if we’re not careful.
Another factor affecting the rise in skin cancer in the UK is the increased use of tanning beds. The UV light that these beds use to trigger tanning can also damage your skin. The growing popularity of sun beds over the last decade or two has put many people at unnecessary risk.
Preventing Skin Cancer
One of the simplest ways to reduce your risk of developing skin cancer is to avoid using tanning beds. It is much better to choose a fake tan or to ask your dermatologist for advice on getting a tan slowly and safely.
You can also reduce the risk by ensuring that you enjoy the sun safely, particularly during the summer or while travelling abroad. Use sunscreen, stay out of the sun during the hottest parts of the day, and wear a hat. If we all do this, we can bring down the number of skin cancer cases in the UK.