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Are you at risk of skin cancer?

Exposure to UV rays increases everyone’s risk for skin cancer, but are some people more at risk than others? If you have fair skin, have a history of sunburns, are regularly exposed to UV rays and have numerous moles, you are considered to be at higher risk than others.

However, although some skins and some environments pose a bigger risk of developing skin cancer, no matter your particular circumstances, sunscreen and avoiding the sun all together remain the most effective preventive measure.

Not only does sunscreen reduce the risk of developing skin cancer, it is also the most effective anti-ageing product on the market. However, for sunscreen to do its job it must be applied frequently, abundantly, and at an adequate SPF level for the conditions in question.

Sunburns are one of the most prevalent risks for developing skin cancer, in fact, according to scientific research, getting sunburnt even once every couple of years can more than double your chances of developing skin cancer.

Here are some simple steps which significantly reduce the risk of developing skin cancer:

· Apply SPF 50+ sunscreen. Apply often and abundantly.

· Select reflective sunscreens that reflects rays.

· Be diligent and don’t miss the hard-to-get-to parts of your body like your back, neck, ears and back of your legs.

· At peak times – 11am and 3pm – just stay out of the sun.

· Remember that even in the shade, 14% to 20% of ambient UV still gets through.

· Make broad-brimmed hats and sunglasses part of your summer uniform.

· Choose your clothing and your swimming gear wisely ideally with 50+ UV protective fabric (UPF). This is especially important for children.

What are the most common symptoms of skin cancer?

Moles and skin changes are the most common and most visible symptoms of skin cancer. Keeping them in check and catching changes early is the best way to avoid developing skin cancer.

Here’s what to look out for in moles. It’s as easy as ABCDE:

A - Asymmetry.

When a mole is not symmetrical and part of it is different to the other.

B - Border.

When the edges of a mole are not regular, the pigment has spread to the surrounding skin and the mole feels ragged or notched.

C - Colour.

When a mole has uneven and irregular colours like different shades of black and brown. Sometimes, some moles might even develop shades of white-grey, and even blue, pink or red.

D - Diameter.

Changes in size are not a good indicator and should be checked out.

E - Evolving.

When a mole changes in any way, whether in size, colour or shape, it is best to ask your GP to monitor it.

Although these are common indicators of melanoma, sometimes cancer does not follow the typical route. So besides taking all the precautions like seeking shade, covering up, slapping on sunscreen, and keeping an eye on your moles, make sure to keep up regular visits with your GP, for those hard to see places like your back and your scalp.

For an effective diagnosis to ensure that you can maintain your quality of life monitor your skin and have regular check-ups with a medical professional.

If you would like more information about regular health screening, contact us today on +356 21221355, 9985 2404 or send an email on for more information.

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