Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world, with a least two in three people being diagnosed with skin cancer by the age of 70.
Majority of skin cancers are caused by overexposure to ultraviolet radiation (UV) from the sun.
Sun protection is required when the UV is 3 and above. In Tasmania, this is from the beginning of September through to the end of April.
When spring hits and the UV index increases, it is important to protect yourself from the sun.
To avoid skin damage, follow the below five steps:
- SLIP on some sun-protective clothing that covers as much skin as possible.
- SLOP on some broad spectrum, water resistant SPF30+ (or greater) sunscreen. Apply sunscreen 20 minutes before you go outdoors and reapply every two hours, more frequently if you’re heavily sweating or towel drying. Apply at least a teaspoon of sunscreen for each limb, front and back of the body and half a teaspoon for the face, neck and ears.
- SLAP on a hat to protect your face, neck and ears is best such as a broad brimmed, bucket or legionnaire style hat. Caps and visors do not provide adequate protection.
- SEEK SHADE from the sun wherever possible, especially between 10am and 3pm when the UV is at its peak.
- SLIDE on some sunglasses that are polarised, close-fitting, wrap-around style of sunglasses and meet Australian standards (AS/NZS1067).
To find out the UV index and sun protection times, download the free sunsmart app or look in the newspaper daily from September.
For more information, visit www.cancertas.org.au or call 1300 65 65 85.
- Contributed from Cancer Council Tasmania