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Sun Care Advice

Exposure to sunshine is the cause of nearly ALL cases of skin cancers. SUNBEDS CAUSE CANCER - don't ever use one.


Different people have different skin types. Some are more prone to burning and sun damage than others. People who have fair skin, blue eyes and fair or red hair are generally more sensitive to the effects of sunshine and need more protection.

Significantly reducing your sun exposure when you have already had one skin cancer halves the risk of a further cancerous skin lesion arising.

Some general advice

  • Never allow your skin to burn.

  • If you are in sunshine, wear clothing which covers your skin, made from cotton or natural fibres, as these have a closer weave and offer more protection.

  • Protect your face and neck with a wide-brimmed hat. Hats and clothes with SPF ratings are available.

  • Always wear sunglasses in strong sunlight.

  • Stay out of the sun in the hottest part of the day, usually between 11am and 3pm.

  • Use a high protection factor sunscreen (30 SPF or higher) whenever you are exposed to sunshine.

  • To get the best protection, you need to put suncream on at least three times a day, or use a long lasting once-a-day cream.

  • Sunscreen works best if you put it on at least 15 minutes before you go outside. It should be reapplied after being in water.

In the UK, the sun is less strong than in many other countries and is more harmful during the summer months. It can still burn, and is responsible for lots of skin cancers. Nowadays, during the summer, the weather forecasts on the television will usually give warnings if high levels of solar ultraviolet (strong sunshine) are likely and often advise on the time it will take to get burnt.

The fact that you have been advised to be careful about exposure does not mean that you have to stop going on nice holidays, or avoid going out when it is sunny. Just take sensible precautions to avoid exposure in order to lessen the risk of burning and skin damage. If you have been diagnosed with skin cancer, you are likely to have many other cells already damaged by the sun, some of which may be in an invisible pre-cancerous state. Further sunshine exposure will risk these transforming into cancer.

A significant study in Australia has shown that taking Vitamin B3 in the form of NICOTINAMIDE, 500 mg twice a day, reduces the chances by around 1/4 of developing further skin cancers such as BCCs or squamous cell carcinoma (cSCC) in those who have had one or more of those skin cancers. This is available from health food shops and pharmacies and does not need to be prescribed.

Vitamin D is needed for healthy bones, and possibly has a role in the healthy function of many other body systems. It is a good idea to have your Vitamin D levels checked and, if they are low (which will demonstrate good sun care!) you should take extra Vitamin D by mouth. This is available from health food shops and pharmacies and does not need to be prescribed.

In summary: avoid the sun at its hottest and do not burn or try to get a suntan.

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