Sharon Reid


The sun has finally decided to come out! This is fantastic news; the sun makes everything look better and thanks to the benefits of vitamin D – we generally feel better. However, just as the sun provides life –  sunshine is required for all living entities, the sun can also cause substantial damage. To avoid sun damage, Dr Daniel Glass, Consultant Dermatologist at BMI – The Clementine Churchill Hospital in London, has put together some useful tips on how to stay safe in the sun this summer.

In addition, Dr Glass discusses the common misconception about the use of sunbeds: many people think they offer a controlled way to get a safe, healthy tan when used in moderation – but actually skin damage occurs after every sunbed session . Dr Glass argues that you don’t need to be on sunbeds every week to see the effects, even occasional use will cause your skin to age and increase the risk of skin cancer.

Dr Daniel Glass

Dr Glass offers five top tips on how to stay safe in the sun this summer:

  1. Apply sunscreen: Use your sunscreen liberally and at regular intervals, making sure to cover all areas of exposed skin, including the back of the neck, top of the ears and the scalp. Get help from someone else for the hard-to-reach areas like your back and shoulders. A sunscreen with a high SPF (sun protection factor) will help prevent the skin from burning and the damage that can cause skin cancer.
  2. Wear more clothes: This may seem like an odd tip to advise during the summer, but wearing a hat, sunglasses, and putting on a t-shirt or kaftan to cover your shoulders and chest on the beach will give you more protection from the sun, without making you too hot.
  3. Sit in the shade: Where possible enjoy the sun in the shade rather than sitting or walking directly in it. Take a large parasol to the beach and sit underneath this, especially at times when the sun is highest in the sky, so between 11 am till 3 pm.
  4. Home & Away: Remember that the sun does come out in the UK as well; take sunscreen to work with you and apply before sitting outside on your lunch break.
  5. Monitor your moles: It is essential to regularly monitor your moles. If  any change in colour, size, shape, bleed or  become  sensitive to touch, then seek a review by your GP or Dermatologist.

What are the risks of using a sunbed?

“There is a large body of evidence to suggest that using sunbeds increases your risk of skin cancer. According to research that collected evidence from 27 studies, sunbed users have up to 20% increased risk of melanoma – one of the most aggressive forms of skin cancer. Using sunbeds when you are young can be particularly damaging so young adults need to take into consideration that the choice to go on a sunbed will have long term effects. Use of sunbeds by the young is thought to partially account for the increased numbers  of skin cancers observed in young patients. There is a move in the USA to classify sunbeds  as a carcinogen, just like cigarettes. The risk of melanoma associated with 10 or more indoor tanning sessions was nearly 600% higher among  young patients.”

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