Protect yourself from harmful sun exposure

New Forest District Council is urging people to be more sun aware as it launches a campaign to help reduce the incidence of skin cancer in the New Forest.

The Sun Awareness initiative, online at www.newforest.gov.uk/sunaware, gives plenty of useful advice and information to help people of all ages protect themselves against the damaging effects of the sun.

The New Forest has one of the highest rates of malignant melanoma (skin cancer) in England – but nine out of ten skin cancer cases are often preventable if simple measures are followed.

Residents are advised to use a high protection sunscreen of at least SPF30 with a high UVA rating (minimum 4 star) and to tell their doctor about any changes to a mole or area of skin – if in doubt, always check it out!

The campain features a ‘Sun Aware’ quiz with the chance to win £50 Love to Shop vouchers. The council is also giving sun awareness advice to schools and GPs, and promoting the OK Sun Safety Code to sports clubs.

Skin care experts from the British Association of Dermatologists (BAD) will attend the New Forest Show in July with a mole and sun advice roadshow.

Look out for the Sun Awareness campaign advertised on NFDC refuse vehicles, information leaflets and posters in public places across the district.

Skin cancer facts

  • Melanoma is the fastest rising, most common cancer in the UK in younger people
  • Sustaining 5 or more sunburns in childhood increases lifetime melanoma risk by 80%
  • 80% of the sun’s UV rays can penetrate through clouds and fog
  • 86% of melanomas can be attributed to exposure to the sun
  • Children have thinner, more delicate skin than adults and their risk of getting sunburned is much higher

Annie Righton, Chair of the New Forest Health and Wellbeing Board, said: “The New Forest is a wonderful place to spend time outdoors and some sunshine can be good for us – often giving us a sense of wellbeing.

“However, over-exposure to the sun can lead to a range of skin problems and potentially skin cancer.

“Skin cancer is a prevalent health issue for us in the New Forest and by raising sun awareness we hope to reduce the number of residents diagnosed with skin cancer in the future.

We also want to encourage people to regularly self-examine so they can detect any signs of skin cancer early and see their GP quicker. This could save lives.”

There is the leaflet which has been published by New Forest District Council court. “Are you sun aware” the leaflet can be downloaded as a PDF file