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15th February 2019

Half Term is here!

We might be feeling the chill here in the UK this February half term, but whether you’re at home in the UK or jetting off abroad, it’s vital to help protect your skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays.

Be sure to apply sunscreen with a high SPF to your children’s skin, as well as your own – even if you don’t think it’s necessary! Try to also encourage your children to apply sunscreen themselves and tell them why it’s so important – wearing sunscreen as part of your daily routine may help to prevent melanoma.[1]

You might think we’re mad for suggesting it as we drag ourselves through the winter months, but UK deaths from melanoma have increased by 156% since the early 1970s[2] and skin cancer is estimated to cost the NHS £180m by 2020[3], with overexposure to the sun and the use of sunbeds being the main cause of skin cancer.[4]

As an Australian-owned company, we believe that when it comes to sun protection, there is a lot that the UK can learn from the experts out there to achieve a reduction in skin cancer rates here…

Australia has one of the highest skin cancer rates in the world with skin cancers accounting for 80% of all newly diagnosed cancers[5]. A reduction in their ozone layer means that more UV radiation reaches the earth,[6] so sun awareness is paramount and for many sun safety is a part of everyday life, whatever the weather.

In the early 1980s, Cancer Council Victoria launched the famous Slip! Slop! Slap! campaign in Australia and has led a skin cancer prevention program. Something which seems to be paying off, with a decline in melanoma reported in those aged under 55 and while incidence was increasing among those over 55 years of age, rates have slowed since the mid-1990s.[7]

It’s important that people in the UK understand that they need to take just as much care of their skin as they do in Australia, as skin cancer rates continue to soar here. Although the UK isn’t experiencing high UV levels at this moment in time, it’s vital to help protect skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays.

Our SunSense Kids range is great to use at home or on holiday and provides SPF50+ protection. For more useful information and advice, visit our blog page: https://sunsense.co.uk/latest-news/

References

[1]  Green AC, Williams GM, Logan V, Strutton GM. Reduced melanoma after regular sunscreen use: randomized trial follow-up. J Clin Oncol. 2011; 29(3): 257-63.

[2]  Cancer Research UK. Skin cancer incidence statistics [Internet]. 2017 [cited 2017 Mar 20]. Available from: http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/health-professional/cancer-statistics/statistics-by-cancer-type/skin-cancer/mortality

[3] Vallejo-Torres L, Morris S, Kinge JM, Poirier and Verne J. Measuring current and future cost of skin cancer in England. J Public Health. 2013; 36(1): 140-148.

[4]  Cancer Council NSW. How ultraviolet (UV) radiation causes skin cancer [Internet]. Available from:

https://www.cancercouncil.com.au/63295/cancer-prevention/sun-protection/sun-protection-sport-and-recreation/sun-protection-information-for-sporting-groups/how-ultraviolet-uv-radiation-causes-skin-cancer/

[5] Cancer Council. Skin cancer. (Internet) 2018 (cited 2019 January 29) Available from: https://www.cancer.org.au/about-cancer/types-of-cancer/skin-cancer.html

[6] Cordero, E. Misconceptions in Australian students’ understanding of Ozone depletion. Melb Studies in Education. 2000; 41(2): 85-97.

[7] SunSmart. New study shows SunSmart success as melanomas decrease in Victoria. (Internet) 2018 (cited 2019 January 30) Available from: https://www.sunsmart.com.au/about/media-campaigns/media-releases/2018-media-releases/new-study-shows-sunsmart-success.html

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