With sunshine and high temperatures forecast for the next few days, the HSE National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP) in collaboration with Healthy Ireland is reminding everyone of the importance of being SunSmart to protect their skin from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays to help reduce the risk of skin cancer.
Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in Ireland with almost 13,000 cases diagnosed each year. The number of people being diagnosed with skin cancer in Ireland is rising rapidly, with the number of cases expected to double by 2045.
The Healthy Ireland SunSmart campaign aims to increase awareness of the steps you and your family can take to protect skin from the sun and reduce the risk of skin cancer. Be prepared and follow the Healthy Ireland SunSmart 5 S’s as part of your daily routine especially between 11am and 3pm from April to September when the intensity of UV radiation from the sun is greatest, even when it is cloudy.
The higher the UV index, the higher the risk of skin and eye damage. When the UV index is 3 or above, you need to protect your skin and eyes by following the Healthy Ireland SunSmart 5 S’s So, be prepared and plan ahead by checking the UV forecast on Met Éireann’s website at https://www.met.ie/uv-index
Dr Katharine Harkin, Specialist in Public Health Medicine, HSE NCCP says: “With fine weather predicted over the coming days, people will be spending more time outdoors in the sunshine. SunSmart outlines the steps you, your family, friends and colleagues can take to protect your skin from the sun and reduce your risk of skin cancer.
“Make SunSmart part of your daily routine and enjoy the sun safely by following the SunSmart 5 S’s.”
Follow the Healthy Ireland SunSmart 5 S’s to protect your skin:
- Slip on clothing that covers your skin such as long sleeves, collared t-shirts
- Slop on sunscreen on sun-exposed areas using SPF minimum 30+ for adults and 50+ for children which has high UVA protection and is water-resistant. Re-apply regularly. Sunscreen cannot provide 100% protection, it should be used alongside other protective measures such as clothing and shade
- Slap on a wide-brimmed hat
- Seek shade such as sitting in the cover of trees to avoid direct sunlight, especially between 11am and 3pm. Use a sunshade on your buggy or pram. Keep babies and children out of direct sunlight
- Slide on sunglasses with UV protection to protect your eyes
As well as the 5 S’s, it is important to remember:
- Do not deliberately try to get a suntan
- Avoid getting a sunburn
- Never use a sunbed
For more information and to learn how to protect yourself and your family this summer visit the SunSmart hub at www.hse.ie/sunsmart and check out #SunSmart on social media.
Last updated on: 11 / 08 / 2022