You don’t have to get sunburnt to develop skin cancer.
Many people believe that they need to have had a severe, blistering case of sun burn in order to develop skin cancer.
Unfortunately this isn’t the case.
Because Australia’s UV index is so high for so much of the day, even limited sun exposure can add up over time having a cumulative effect on sun damage and leading to a higher likelihood that skin cancer may develop.
We detect skin cancer on the right forearm, hand, cheek and temple a lot more frequently than on the left side. This is as a result of sun exposure that has not caused visible burning through the car windows over time while driving a vehicle. Similarly, it is quite common for skin cancers to develop in areas that people thought they had covered – such as their neck, shoulders or back – because UV radiation can still penetrate light-coloured clothing and thinner materials.
Our tips for preventing sun damage and skin cancer on a daily basis:
- Limit your exposure to direct sun light between 9am to 4pm if you can
- Apply at least 30+ sunscreen every morning and regularly throughout the day, even if you’re staying indoors or only driving
- Use other protective measures against sun exposure such as long sleeves, sunglasses and a hat. Thicker, darker materials provide better SPF coverage.
Remember: regular routine skin checks are also crucial in detecting and treating skin cancers early.
Learn how to conduct a self-skin check here and if you have any skin concerns, make an appointment with us as soon as possible – it could save your life!