SunSmart Skin Cancer Awareness Campaign

The Irish Cancer Society are launching their annual SunSmart campaign on May 1st to highlight the importance of taking care of your skin while in the sun.

Skin cancer is one of the most common cancers in Ireland. In 2011, there were over 10,000 cases of skin cancer reported and this figure is predicted to double by 2040. Nine out of ten skin cancer cases are caused by exposure to ultraviolet rays (UV) from both the sun and sun beds. Everyone who spends time outdoors is at risk of skin cancer not just those who sunbathe.

The Irish Cancer Society developed the SunSmart code to help you make sure that you are fully protecting yourself against harmful UV rays. They outlined the following tips to take while out in the sun:

  • Get some shade: Avoid being out in the sun between 11am and 3pm as this is when the sun’s UVA rays are at their highest.
  • Cover up: Wear a shirt with a collar and long shorts. It is also highly important to wear a hat in order to protect your face, neck and ears.
  • Wear sunglasses: Make sure to wear wraparound sunglasses that give UVA protection
  • Wear sunscreen: Use a sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher and UVA protection. Apply this 30 minutes before going outside and re-apply every 2 hours throughout the day.

Early detection of skin cancer is vital. If you notice any abnormal skin changes, call the National Cancer Helpline on 1800 200 700 or visit your doctor immediately.