Skin Cancer Awareness Month

Posted by Kate Fitton on

Skin Cancer Awareness


The month of May seeks to increase the understanding of Skin Cancer as in Ireland it is one of the most common cancers, however skin cancer is also one of the most preventable cancers as nine out of ten cases of cancers are caused by UV Ray or man-made UV Rays like sunbeds. May hopes to significantly expand comprehension of how absolutely essential healthy skin is for individuals' wellbeing.  

Skin cancer awareness 

Skin cancer is the most frequent cancer in Ireland by far. Still, in most cases, it can be prevented and early detection leads to better results. The huge majority of those cancers are caused by too much exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UV), mostly from the sun, even though UV from manmade sources ie. tanning beds, also can cause skin cancer.

Many Irish complexions consist of fair skin which often burns easily and is not prone to tanning, this results in sun damage when unprotection from harmful rays. The most obvious sign that you might have skin cancer is a change in the way your skin looks, like a new growth, a sore that won't heal, a new mole that is changing, or an existing mole that looks different than before.

Skin cancer is the abnormal, uncontrolled growth of skin cells. It develops when the genetic material (DNA) inside skin cells is damaged, triggering changes that lead these cells to multiply rapidly and become cancerous.

How to be sun smart

  • Know the UV index: A simple google of the UV index in your area can help inform you of the amount of sun protection you need on any given day. A UV index of 3 or higher indicates that skin protection is needed. In Ireland, the UV index tends to be 3 or more from April to September, even when the sky is overcast.
  • Use broad-spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen:  Use sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30 or more for adults and 50 or more for children. Water resistant sunscreen can help when heading got the beach or pool but always ensure to apply regularly just in case.  It is also important to cover up, seek shade throughout the day and wear sunhats for maximum protection. 
  • Seek shade: It is also important to cover up, seek shade throughout the day and wear sunhats for maximum protection. Keep infants and youngsters out of direct sunshine.
  • Wear sunglasses: Guard your eyes against harm by wearing sunglasses with UV protection as too much direct expose to UV light can increase the risk of eye diseases. 

The Importance of sun care 

It is imperative to protect children from the UV radiation that comes from the sun as it is later on in life such as adulthood when cancer develops. Those who are under 35 years old are less likely to use at least one method of protecting themselves from the sun compared to those who are older than 35.

Early detection is also vital.

Skin self check exams should be made regularly and If spotted early up to 90% of cases are curable. In the case of melanoma skin cancer spotting it early can save your life. For this reason it is important to get to know your skin, check it every month for changes and speak to your doctor if you are worried.

Nivea Sun Protect & Moisture Sun Lotion SPF50+ 200ml protects from UV rays immediately after application. It also contains Vitamin E which acts as an anti-oxidant helping protect the skin from within. Additionally, this sun lotion keeps the skin moisturized for up to 48 hours. This ensures that the skin stays hydrated and healthy. The result is skin that is soft and supple instead of dry and flaky.
La Roche Posay Anthelios Oil Control Gel-Cream SPF50+ 50ml is a facial sunscreen which should be used everyday to protect yourself from UVA  and UVB rays. This type of sunscreen is good for people with oily and acne-prone skin, as well as those who have sensitive skin and skin that does not tolerate the sun well. It is made with something called UVMune 400 which is supposed to be really good at protecting you against the longest UVA rays.  

Vichy's Capital Soleil Cell Protect Spray SPF30 200ml is a gentle, ultra-light texture and high UV protection spray for all skin types, even sensitive skin. This sunscreen is water resent is non sticky and contains an hypoallergenic formula. The sunscreen spray is powered with a broad range of UV filters, combined with antioxidant protection. Netlock Technology provides an easy-to-apply  formula that is ultra-resistant to sweat, sand and water.

Making sun protection a standard part of your daily routine is absolutely essential in minimizing your chances of developing skin cancer. Understanding your skin type and getting frequent examinations from the doctor is crucial. Especially in Ireland from April through September, UV rays can be strong enough to cause sun burn, even on overcast days so don't forget your sunscreen, hat and protective clothing! Make safe sun practices a fun habit that keeps you safe as you enjoy time outdoors.  

Irish Skin Foundation, What is skin cancer? Skin Cancer - Irish Skin Foundation.
HSE National Cancer Control (2024) SunSmart Campaign, SunSmart campaign - HSE.ie
Irish Cancer Society, 2024, Skin Cancer, Skin cancer | Irish Cancer Society

← Older Post

Stay In Touch

Sign up to our newsletter to get O'Sullivans news & special offers!