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Skin cancer and sun safety

We love the sun – perhaps because we don’t see enough of it. But how many of us are sun safe? Skin cancer is one of the most common cancers in the UK and we’re on a mission to change that.

Every summer we swap ice cream for suncream and dish it out (along with advice and info) in communities across the country. We follow the sun and you’ll find us raising awareness at beaches, festivals, and events, as well as community venues.

How to stay safe in the sun

Too much sun is bad for us. There’s no such thing as a ‘healthy’ tan!

  • Enjoy the summer and stay sun safe by using the 5 S’s of sun safety
  • Slip on a t-shirt. Keep your shoulders covered, they can easily burn.
  • Slop on sun cream. Use SPF 30 or above with lots of stars and preferably water resistant.
  • Slap on a wide brimmed hat to shade your face, neck and ears.
  • Slide on sunglasses to protect your eyes from UV rays.
  • Seek shade especially when the sun is at its strongest between 11am and 3pm.

Know the signs and symptoms

It’s really important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of skin cancer and know how to spot something that’s not right. See our mole checker guide here.

Sun safety in schools

Did you know that one blistering sun burn as a child can double your risk of skin cancer in later life? Melanoma is also one of the most common cancers affecting young adults (aged 15-34) in the UK.

That’s why each summer our Advisors visit schools to talk to pupils and staff, and raise awareness of skin cancer. Working alongside Skcin, the Karen Clifford skin cancer charity we help schools attain Sun Safe Accreditation by delivering sun safety workshops, assemblies, and creating lesson plans. Find out more about our work in schools here.

Sun cream facts

Even though lots of us know how to stay safe in the sun using sun cream, we’re not always getting it right. Research has recently shown that 80% of us are using sun cream wrong! Here’s some trivia, tips and tricks on sun cream so you’re always safe in the sun.

Tanning beds

We know you might feel better when you’ve got a tan, but going brown is your skin’s way of telling you it’s getting damaged. When you use a tanning bed, your skin goes brown to protect itself from the damaging ultraviolet (UV) rays. This is radiation – and is just as dangerous as being in the sun without protection. Tanning beds, sunlamps and tanning booths all give out dangerous UV rays. Find out more about tanning beds, here.

Our free Support Line is open 365 days a year

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Our free Support Line is open 365 days a year for anyone affected by cancer. Our nurses offer advice on diagnosis, treatment, side-effects, and anything else on your mind.

Find out about our Support Line