Australia has dramatically decreased rates of skin cancer with the introduction of sun protection programmes, such as the ‘slip, slop, slap, now wrap’ campaign – sun awareness is therefore vital and really does have an effect. Avoid the hottest part of the day (between 11am and 3pm), apply liberal amounts of sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 30+ and wear a hat, loose clothes (tightly woven) and sunglasses. The face and neck are the areas most commonly affected by sun damage, so be sure to apply sunscreen to lips, ears, around eyes, neck and scalp if your hair is thinning.
A history of sunburn when young puts people at an increased risk of developing skin cancer later in life. Fifty per cent of total lifetime sunlight exposure occurs in childhood, so be particularly careful with children too; if they are exposed to the sun, dress them in sun-suits or long-sleeves, hats and sunglasses and apply a liberal amount of high SPF sunscreen regularly.
Remember that use of SPFs is therefore not only an anti-skin cancer manoeuvre but an anti-ageing treatment too!!