Your skin is the largest organ in your body and its main function is to protect your internal organs, so it makes sense to protect your skin as best you can.
The biggest threat to our skin is the sun, namely UVA and UVB rays. Both can be harmful and contribute to skin cancer. It is estimated that nine out of ten skin cancers are caused by the sun or sunbeds. According to the Irish Skin Foundation, skin cancer is the most diagnosed cancer in Ireland and some forms such as Non-melanoma skin cancers are more common in Irish men, affecting 1 in 6. Certain groups are more at risk than others such as those who:
- Suffered frequent sunburn or severe sunburn in the past
- Work outdoors
- Use sunbeds
- Have fair skin, freckles or red hair
- With impaired immune systems
Our skin changes over time and as we age, much of this is normal. It is important if you notice any changes in skin such as colour changes, new moles or changes in moles/freckles, tender/sore lumps, that you contact your doctor for further examination. If you want to read more about things to look out for click HERE.
The best way to protect your skin is by using a cream with Sun Protect Factor (SPF) on your skin daily. It is recommended that everyone wear a minimum of SPF 30 and SPF 50 is recommended in children. It is important to use an SPF with both UVA and UVB protection. SPF is best applied 20-30 minutes before going outside and reapplied regularly (every two hours). It is also important to wear clothes that protect you from the sun, spend time in the shade and wear sunglasses to protect your eyes. How will you know if the sun is strong enough to cause damage? In Ireland, the sun is at its strongest from April to September and you can check the UV index to see how much protection you need. Check it out HERE.
Here at Pharmamale.ie we recommend wearing SPF all year round, it also serves to help prevent ageing caused by the sun’s rays and keeping you wrinkle free!
If you want to know more about protecting your skin and the risks associated with UV rays you can visit:
The HSE’s SunSmart 2021 campaign - HERE
The Irish Skin Foundation - HERE
The Irish Cancer Society - HERE