Skin Cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in Australia, but is also the most preventable.
Skin Cancer Prevention Guidelines
- Seek the shade, especially between the hours of 10 AM and 4 PM
- Do not get sunburnt
- Avoid tanning and never use UV tanning beds Cover up with clothing, including a broad-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses
- Use a broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher every day. For extended outdoor activity, use a water-resistant, broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 50 or higher.
- Apply sunscreen to your entire body 30 minutes before going outside. Reapply every two hours or after swimming or excessive sweating. Keep newborns out of the sun. Sunscreens can be used on babies over the age of six months.
- Do a self-check of your skin your skin, head-to-toe every month
- Book an annual skin check with one of the doctors at CBD Skin Cancer Clinic
There are a number of ways you can protect yourself from harmful UV rays.
Sunscreen has the ability to filter out most UV Radiation, which significantly reduces skin damage. When properly applied, a sunblock with an SPF of 50 or higher can greatly reduce your risk of developing skin cancer. However, it cannot filter out 100% of UV Radiation which is why minimum sun exposure is necessary when possible. UV may pass through at varying rates indicated by the SPF number. The SPF number is a guide to how much protection a sunscreen provides.
Wear Protective Clothing
Clothing is our first line of defence against the sun’s harmful UV & UVB rays and protects us by absorbing or blocking much of this radiation. The more skin you cover, the better. A long-sleeved shirt covers more skin than a t-shirt, especially if it has a high neckline or collar that shields the back of the neck. Likewise, long pants protect more skin than shorts. You can also now purchase fully UVA/UVB blocking outdoor clothing from many different labels.
Wear Sunglasses and Headwear
Look for sunglasses that protect you from 99 to 100 percent of both UVA and UVB light. This includes those labelled as “UV 400,” which blocks all light rays with wavelengths up to 400 nanometers. This covers all of UVA and UVB rays.
Both sunglasses and a hat worn together can significantly reduce eye exposure when working around reflective surfaces.
For headwear, choose a comfortable and well fitted hat with a full crown made of woven material. A broad-rim hat is highly recommended or legionnaire style hats with the flap at the back. Hats of these styles are an excellent choice, as they cover the ears, back of the neck and sides of the face.