Four Things You Need to Know About Sun Awareness Week 2022

4th May 2022

This year, Sun Awareness Week will be held between the 3rd and the 9th of May. Sun Awareness Week is held annually in the UK every May and was created by The British Association of Dermatologists, also known as BAD. The message around Sun Awareness Week does what it says on the tin, and aims to raise awareness about the possible negative effects of the sun on the human body. 

These effects are not all negative, and there are actually a number of benefits we can get from the sun. Not only does the sun provide light and warmth, but it also provides people with the essential vitamin, vitamin D. Another benefit people get from the sun is tanning, however, this does bring along its own set of risks. The sun is something to be treated with care, and the potential risks should by no means be taken lightly. 

1 - What is Sun Awareness Week?

Sun Awareness Week is an annually held week that was created by The British Association of Dermatologists. The main purpose of Sun Awareness Week is to highlight the potential dangers of the sun. The week is being overseen by the British Association of Dermatologists' Skin Cancer Prevention Committee, which has taken a particular focus on preventing skin cancer from all forms of UV. 

Of course, the main focus of the week is the sun, but there also needs to be some attention placed on the potential damage done to the skin by other forms of UV light, in particular from sunbeds. There is definitely more knowledge around the topic of sun damage than there ever has been before, however, the facts and figures around skin cancer are still alarming. Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the UK and is the cause of death for around seven people per day, that’s over 2,500 people per year. 

2 - How dangerous can the sun be?

The sun is, clearly, very dangerous. This does not mean that it holds the same amount of danger for all people. There are many different types of skin, and there are skin types that are much more susceptible to skin damage than others. People with olive skin and dark hair, for example, are at a lower level of risk than someone with red hair and fair skin. The stats regarding skin cancer, as mentioned, are alarming. Despite being the most common form of cancer in the UK, a lot of people will take the sun for granted; little do they know, they are also putting themselves at risk.

Skin cancer is not the only risk that you face from overexposure to the sun. Many different health conditions can be developed due to not keeping on top of your sun protection. The sun can cause permanent damage to your eyesight, it can also cause damage to the skin that can make you look older and more wrinkled. One of the other major conditions you can develop is sunstroke. Sunstroke is also known as heatstroke and is a condition that occurs when your body is exposed to high temperatures for too long. Heatstroke can cause severe exhaustion, nausea, and potentially even fits or seizures. Heatstroke varies in severity but can lead to potentially major health implications, and even death. 

3 - How can you protect your skin from the sun?

Thankfully, there are different ways that you can protect yourself from the sun, and it is vital that you do this properly. If you are planning on spending a large amount of time outdoors in the sun then you should ensure you take the relevant precautions. The best way to protect your skin from the sun is either by wearing clothing that covers your skin or by using effective, protective sun cream. 

Sun cream is one of the most effective forms of sun protection and is strongly recommended so that you can continue to enjoy the sun safely. There are different types of sun cream and different strengths of sun cream that can be used depending on skin type and how long you plan on being in the sun. People with fairer skin will need to use a high factor SPF sun cream, whereas people with darker skin will be able to use a lower SPF cream. 

When using sun cream, you should ensure that you are regularly reapplying a good coverage across all exposed areas of skin. You should reapply sun cream once every two hours, or immediately after going swimming or excessively sweating as this will lead to sun cream being washed off your skin. 

For people that regularly use sunbeds to tan, precautions should also be taken in order to protect themselves. To use a sunbed effectively and safely you should always change session lengths to your skin type, you should also always leave a gap of at least 48 hours between tanning sessions in order to give your skin a chance to recover. Sunbed users should also use sun cream in order to protect their skin from harmful UV levels.

4 - What are the symptoms of skin cancer?

It is important to know the symptoms of skin cancer to ensure that you can spot it before it becomes something more serious. There are two different types of skin cancers, melanoma and non-melanoma. Thankfully, there are obvious symptoms of both of these that can indicate potential skin cancer quickly. For melanoma skin cancer, these include:

  • A new mole appears on the skin.
  • A change to a pre-existing mole. This can include a change in size, colour and shape. There can also be itchiness or soreness on the mole itself. 
  • Melanoma can also develop in the eye. A thin layer of tissue will grow across the front of the eye, although this will more commonly occur at the back of the eye. 

Symptoms of non-melanoma skin cancer include:

  • Dark skin patches appear on the skin.
  • Sore red lumps appear on the skin. 

Non-melanoma skin cancer will often develop in areas of the skin that are regularly exposed to the sun. This is most commonly noticed on the hands, face, arms, neck, and ears.

Sun Awareness Week is for raising important attention towards the dangers the sun possesses. To effectively protect yourself from the sun, purchase the sun care products that you need from UK Meds online today.