Learn how to be Sunsmart. Much as we enjoy spending time on our beautiful beaches in the summer, or enjoying outdoor activities in the sunshine, we need to remember that the sun can damage our skin.
Long-term effects, such as the development of skin cancers, may not be seen for many years.
The sun emits ultra violet (UV) radiation, which has been shown to cause skin cancers. Children and people with fair skin are at particular risk.
Statistics for the Southwest of England between 2003 and 2006 say that 20 people in every 100,000 have malignant melanoma (the dangerous type of skin cancer). Guernsey statistics for 2003 - 2007 say that our comparable figure would be 24.1 people for every 100,000 having malignant melanoma. However, the good news is that fewer Guernsey people die from skin cancer. Our figure would be 2 for every 100,000, while the South of England's figure is 3 people for every 100,000.
There are two main sorts of skin cancers: non-melanoma skin cancers (NMSC) and malignant melanoma.
NMSC are the most common skin cancers and those who tend to be at the highest risk are people who spend long periods of their lives in the sun, e.g. people who work outdoors. Symptoms include a new growth or sore that does not heal within 4 weeks, a spot or sore that continues to itch, hurt, crust, scab or bleed, or persistent unexplained skin ulcers.
Malignant melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer and those who tend to be at the highest risk are fair skinned people and those who work inside and are exposed to short, intense periods in the sun e.g. on holiday. Malignant melanoma often starts with a change in look or feel to a mole e.g. darkening, lightening or changing in colour, increase in size, ragged edges, bleeding, itching or blistering or with a new mole.
These symptoms do not necessarily mean you have a skin cancer, but you should see your GP promptly to get them checked out.
A photograph competition on staying safe in the sun was run in 2010, with the winning entries being made into posters for the 2011 campaign. The posters can be downloaded at the bottom of the page or copies are available from the Health Promotion Unit.
Cancer Research UK recommends everyone follows the SUNSMART guidelines in order to reduce the risk of skin cancer:
S - Spend time in the shade between 11am and 3pm
M - Make sure you never burn
A - Aim to cover up with a T-Shirt, hat and sunglasses
R - Remember to take extra care with children
T - Then use factor 15+ sun cream
These guidelines form the basis of the posters below, which use well-known local people to endorse the sun safety messages.
Document downloadsSun safety Andy and Jo Priaulx Poster Sun safety Matt Fallaize Poster Sun Safety Heather Watson Poster Sun safety Alice Loveridge Poster for Sun safety featuring Alice Loveridge Sun safety Matt le Tissier Poster Be Sun Safe Winning posters in the 2011 Be Sun Safe competition
Health Promotion UnitHealth Promotion Unit, Princess Elizabeth Hospital, Rue Mignot, St Martin, Guernsey, GY4 6UU, Channel Islands
Tel: +44 1481 707311 Fax: +44 1481 707394