Healthwatch Advice for Sunbathers!

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Advice on sunscreens and keeping safe in the sun.

With worrying statistic about the rate of increase in skin cancers (see Stories in the Media below) we are encouraging families ahead of the summer holidays to stay safe in the sun.

Public Health England have warned that many local areas across the South West have higher rates of malignant melanoma than the national average.

NHS England South West Medical Director Caroline Gamlin said, “Being outdoors is clearly crucial for farmers, builders, gardeners, Post Office workers and others, and for people who take part in a lot of outdoor sport, but there are simple steps that can be taken to lower the risk of skin cancer and be sun safe.

“Men in particular need to take much more care. They need to use at least factor 15 sunscreen and apply it generously on all exposed skin – not forgetting their necks, ears and bald patches!”

Sunburn increases your risk of skin cancer which can develop slowly over time. So while sunburn might feel better in a few days, it may have done long term damage which could be fatal.

The above video provides a brief overview on how to stay safe in the sun. We encourage you to just spend a few minutes watching it and taking a few simple precautions when going out in the sun.

Find more information on skin cancer from Cancer Research UK: https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/skin-cancer

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(Author)

Apart from five years studying in Oxford I’ve lived most of my life in London where for many years I was Head of English in a prestigious girls’ school, but since taking early retirement and heading West to be nearer to my two daughters - settling in Torbay with my wife, Anna, in 2011 - I’ve worked in the voluntary sector. I took on the role of Service Provider, for example, promoting the Red Cross Torbay Navigators Project, while now I’m a Trustee and part of the Media Team for our local Healthwatch. I’m a governor at Torquay Academy, too, giving me the chance to stay up to date with what’s happening in the world of education. Other interests, aside from friends and family, include art and art history, reading - from contemporary fiction and poetry to Elizabethan/Jacobean literature - history, politics, cooking, walking, and music, in particular Bob Dylan, the blues, and early Elvis. I love writing, too, with one novel published so far – Elvis in Wonderland – and another, Who’s There?, that still needs plenty of work!