'It's important for everyone to get to know their own skin', says senior research officer from Cancer Research UK

'It's important for everyone to get to know their own skin', says senior research officer from Cancer Research UK

Checking UV levels can keep sun-seekers safe

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

In the wake of the story that a Jersey school had cancelled their trip to a beach over skin cancer health fears, Nikki Smith from Cancer Research UK says that education on the subject is crucial. 

The Jersey Health Department on the island issued a warning after research showed that the island was becoming the world's worst destination for the disease.

This caused the head teacher to cancel the trip.

"We do know that skin cancer malignant melanoma rates have increased dramatically in the last few decades," senior health information officer Smith told Julia Hartley-Brewer.

"We do think that holidays abroad have probably played a role in these changes in rates in the last few decades.

"Other factors such as sunbed use might be playing a role, and things like changes in fashion. Some people would argue it's more fashionable these days to have a tan."

She advises on how best to stay safe in the sun.

"The most important thing to remember is you can check the UV index, and it can be particularly high in the UK, between March and October, and you can check the UV index where you are on the day and work out whether you might need to protect your skin.

"The most important thing you can do to protect your skin is to spend time in the shade, or cover up between 11am and 3pm when it's strongest.

"It is important to everybody to be exposed to the sun to some extent, but not get to the stage where they're burning, so it is a balance. It's important for everyone to get to know their own skin tone and how their skin behaves in the sun."