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19.06.2013 Sunny Health

Sunny Health

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the UK and the number of people getting it is increasing. It develops when genes in skin cells are damaged by ultraviolet radiation from the sun, often in childhood. People with fair skin, red or fair hair or pale eyes are more at risk, those with black, brown or darker olive complexions have a lower risk.

There are two main types of skin cancer: malignant melanoma and non-melanoma. Malignant melanoma is the third most common cancer in 15-39 year-olds. It can spread to other parts of the body and may be fatal if not treated early. The most common treatment is surgery.

 

Consult your doctor immediately if you have:

  • a mole or dark patch that is getting larger or a new one is growing
  • a mole with a ragged outline
  • a mole that is coloured different shades of brown and black.

 

The following signs are also of concern and should be medically checked if they do not return to normal within two weeks:

  • an inflamed mole
  • a mole that starts to bleed, ooze or crust
  • a change in sensation of a mole, e.g. an itch
  • a mole that is bigger than all your other moles.

 

More than 9 out of 10 skin cancers are the non-melanoma type and are easily treated. Over 59,000 new cases are registered each year in the UK. Signs of nonmelanoma skin cancer include a sore or spot that does not heal within four weeks.

 

To lower your risk of getting skin cancer:

  • Stay out of the sun between 11am and 3pm when the sun is most dangerous
  • Always use a high Sun Protection Factor (SPF) sunscreen - at least SPF 15 – which protects against UVA and UVB rays
  • Apply sunscreen generously 15-30 minutes before you go out and reapply frequently
  • Wear a T-shirt, a wide-brimmed hat and wraparound sunglasses
  • Avoid using sunbeds or tanning lamps – there is no such thing as a safe tan.

 

Holiday Tips

It’s that time of year when many of us go on holiday. Before you go, plan ahead. Here are some useful holiday tips from some well travelled individuals:-

 

Long flight hydration

I always buy two extra bottles of water for long haul journeys as sometimes cabin crew are not as forthcoming with refreshments as they should be.

 

Keep cool in theme parks

When we went to America we went to all the theme parks and took with us little hairspray type bottles filled with water that we had left in the fridge the night before. In the theme parks they sell this kind of fan/spray for about £20 and they are boiling hot from being in the sun all day - so we saved money and stayed cool!

 

Non-slip bathmat

My tip is to take a bath mat with you on holiday. They are easy to pack in your case and let your child splash away without slipping over!

 

Bite relief

When bitten by mosquitos or other nasties, apply lemon/lime juice or alcohol (any sort - the purer the better!) directly to the bite, this may sting slightly but gives great relief, dries up the bite and helps it heal much faster.

 

Freshen up

Take a packet of deodorant and/or aloe wipes with you - however hot and sticky you get, you can cool down, freshen up and still smell nice.

 

Drinks on the beach

If like me you enjoy a beach holiday and hate having to go the shop every couple of hours for a cool drink then freeze small bottles of water the night before and take them with you to the beach. They will last most of the day.

 

Cheaper sun lotion

Always buy your sun tan lotion from the airport duty free, it's much cheaper than our retail stores, especially handy for those travelling to very hot destinations where you need a lot of protection. Saves a lot of money that you can use on your holiday!

 

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