Skin cancer expert issues warning about spending too much time in the sun

Experts have warned that your skin can be at risk even when there are clouds in the sky.
Picture: Myung Jung Kim/PAPicture: Myung Jung Kim/PA
Picture: Myung Jung Kim/PA

Sun Awareness Week is taking place from May 14 to 20 and dermatologists are highlighting the dangers of spending too much time in the sun, saying that it doesn’t have to be a ‘scorcher’ before people should take protective action.

Dr Stephen Keohane a Consultant Dermatologist and skin cancer expert at Spire Portsmouth Hospital in Havant explained:

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‘The danger is when there is cloud cover or a breeze that is making everything appear cooler. Clouds reduce the amount of ultraviolet A and B radiation that reaches the earth’s surface and our skin, but don’t stop the damaging rays.

‘If the sun is shining then your skin is in danger.’

According to Government figures, skin cancer is the most common cancer in the UK. 100,000 new cases are diagnosed each year causing approximately 2,500 deaths.

Dr Keohane advised ‘In the case of young children, if it is warm enough for them to be playing out in shorts and tee shirts then the sun is usually strong enough to merit covering them in a protective cream or lotion.’

However everyone should take precautions against the sun particularly between 11am and 3pm. He said: ‘If your shadow is shorter than you, seek shade.’

To keep your skin safe this summer, wear protective clothing and a hat that covers your ears and the back of your neck. Apply SPF 30 sunscreen every two hours.

- By Robin Dando