2020 is the year of the balcony and back garden! During peak-UV months (April to September), we need “Everyone Under the Sun” to be SunSmart – even if you’re just queuing for the shops, getting in some exercise or mowing the lawn!

Below are must-read articles, leaflets and infographics to help you understand why it’s important to be SunSmart to protect your skin.

Skin cancer* is the most common type of cancer in Ireland. Yet, the good news is that in most cases, it is also one of the most preventable forms of cancer. You can reduce your risk by avoiding overexposure to ultraviolet radiation from sunlight or artificial sources e.g. sunbeds.

The ISF is a proud partner of Healthy Ireland SunSmart, an initiative of the National Skin Cancer Prevention Plan and the National Cancer Strategy 2017-26.

If you’re concerned about a change or growth on your skin, you should always see your doctor.

*Skin cancer is the abnormal, uncontrolled growth of skin cells. Skin cancers are generally divided into non-melanoma skin cancers (which include basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma) and melanoma.

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Learn to protect and inspect

Know your skin type! The effects of sunlight are not the same for everyone

28/05/2020

First published June 2017; updated May 2020 Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in Ireland and in fair/light skinned populations worldwide, for whom sunburn is a risk factor Yet, in most cases, it is also one of the most preventable forms of cancer - the vast majority are associated with overexposure to ultraviolet radiation (UV), mainly from sunlight However, UV from artificial...

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What is solar UV radiation and why you need to know about it…?

28/05/2020

First published June 2017; updated May 2020 What is solar ultraviolet radiation Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is one of the three major components of sunlight, which include visible light and infrared (heat) It is divided into three categories, classified according to wavelength: UVC, UVB and UVA The ozone layer blocks all UVC and most (90% or more) of UVB, while UVA passes through the...

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Confused about the UV Index?

28/05/2020

First published June 2017; updated May 2020 What is solar ultraviolet radiation Ultraviolet radiation (UV) is a component of sunlight The two types of UV that we need to be concerned about are UVA and UVB What is the UV index The UV index is a scale that was developed by the World Health Organisation which measures the UV level at the surface of the Earth, and gives an indication of the...

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Seasonal UV Changes and Protecting Our Skin

28/05/2020

Knowing a little bit about Earth’s relationship with the Sun allows us to understand how the intensity of the Sun’s rays can change during the year, and the importance of protecting our skin What causes the change in seasons Earth revolves around the Sun, taking a year to complete one orbit But as it does so, it also spins on its own axis (an imaginary line that extends from the north to...

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No sunscreen can provide 100% UV protection

28/05/2020

First published June 2017; updated May 2020 The role of sunscreen Alongside other protective measures, such as clothing and shade, sunscreens play an important preventative role against the acute and long-term effects of overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun, including: sunburn, skin damage, premature ageing of the skin and skin cancer Solar UV radiation UV radiation is a...

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When are UV rays at their strongest?

28/05/2020

First published June 2017; updated May 2020 What is Ultraviolet (UV) Radiation UV radiation in sunlight damages our skin UV radiation cannot be seen or felt (infrared radiation causes heat, not UV) It can damage skin on cool, cloudy days and hot sunny days! UV radiation comes directly from the sun and is influenced by many factors including Latitude Time of the day Time of...

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Protecting your family while out in the sunshine

28/05/2020

First published in June 2017, updated June 2020 Playing and spending time outdoors is such an important part of childhood but it is crucial that children are protected and safe in the sun Increased vulnerability Compared with adults, children’s skin is much more vulnerable to the damaging effects of ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun Young children’s skin has lower concentrations...

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How long before going out in the sun should I apply sunscreen?

28/05/2020

First published June 2017; updated May 2020 There are many different types of sunscreens available, including creams, gels and lotions, and when applied properly, they will provide good protection When choosing a sunscreen ensure that it is broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30+, with high UVA protection, and water resistant if you intend to swim...

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Long weekends and summer staycations: Be SunSmart whether on balconies, in back gardens or at the beach!

28/05/2020

2020 is the year of the staycation! So while jetting away to sunnier climes is not an option right now, still spare a thought for your vulnerable skin! Most people living in Ireland have skin type 1 or 2, which burns easily and tans poorly, so are particularly at risk from too much sun exposure Did you know that you can get sunburnt on a cloudy day and even under the water Or that too much...

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Being SunSmart: At a glance

28/05/2020

Why be SunSmart Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in Ireland Yet, in most cases, it is also one of the most preventable forms of cancer You can reduce your risk by avoiding overexposure to ultraviolet radiation (UV) from sunlight or artificial sources eg sunbeds Reduce your risk, protect your skin: Be SunSmart UV cannot be seen or felt, so you need to defend yourself against...

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Clouds, water, glass: surprising things that solar UV can pass through

28/05/2020

First published June 2017; updated May 2020 Do you know that over 90% of UV can pass through light cloud, at half a metre depth under water UV is still 40% as intense as at the surface, and some UV can pass through glass! We're all becoming more aware of the importance of protecting ourselves against overexposure to ultraviolet radiation (UV)   when outdoors but you may be surprised to know...

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Sunbeds cause skin cancer when used exactly as intended…

27/06/2017

It’s official, there is no safe limit for exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UV) from sunbeds, according to independent scientific committee Skin cancer in Ireland Skin cancer is the most common cancer in Ireland Yet, in most cases, it is also one of the most preventable forms of cancer There are two main types: non-melanoma (including basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma), and...

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Additional Resources

Going on holiday: find out more about sun safety for holidays

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