You can reduce your risk of skin cancer by avoiding overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from sunlight or artificial sources (eg. sun-beds).

We want everyone in Ireland to learn to Protect & Inspect their skin. Below are must-read articles and resources to help you understand why it’s important to protect yourself and how to inspect your skin thoroughly!

If you concerned about a change or growth on your skin, you should always see your GP or dermatologist.

Remember, whether at home or abroad this summer, occasional, intense sun exposure and sunburn increases skin cancer risk. More about melanoma and skin cancer here.

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Learn to protect and inspect

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

26/05/2019

First published June 2017; updated May 2019 About Melanin Melanin is a pigment that gives skin, eyes, and hair their colour It also provides some protection against skin damage from ultraviolet radiation (UV) present in sunlight and is responsible for tanning There are different types: dark skin contains more ‘eumelanin’, while lighter skin has more ‘pheomelanin’ Eumelanin is thought to...

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

26/05/2019

First published June 2017; updated May 2019 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: UVA, UVB and UVC The ozone layer blocks all UVC and most (90% or more) of UVB, while UVA passes through the atmosphere...

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Confused about the UV index?

26/05/2019

First published June 2017; updated May 2019 What is the Global Solar UV index Ultraviolet radiation (UV) is a component of sunlight The Global Solar UV index is a scale that was developed by the World Health Organisation which measures the UV radiation level at the surface of the Earth, and gives an indication of the potential for skin damage Overexposure to UV radiation can cause...

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

26/05/2019

First published June 2017; updated May 2019 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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How long should I apply sunscreen before going out in the sun?

26/05/2019

First published June 2017; updated May 2019 There are many different types of sunscreens available including creams, gels and lotions, and when applied properly, 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 Also...

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What time of the day are UV rays at their strongest?

26/05/2019

First published June 2017; updated May 2019 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 year Altitude Reflection The Global...

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No sunscreen can provide 100% UV protection

26/05/2019

First published June 2017; updated May 2019 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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10 Sun Safety Top Tips You Need To Know Now

26/05/2019

First published June 2017; updated May 2019 Before you pack up the family or jet away to sunnier climes, spare a thought for your vulnerable skin! Most people living in Ireland have skin type 1 or 2 which means they are particularly at risk from too much sun exposure Did you know that too much sun leads to skin ageing, including wrinkles and unsightly spots, or that you can get sunburnt on a...

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Slip, Slop, Slap, Slide, Seek – the 5 ‘Ss’ of Sun Safety!

26/05/2019

First published June 2017; updated May 2019 5 ESSENTIALS TO PACK FOR YOUR HOLIDAYS Sunscreen: choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen (offering both UVA and UVB protection), with a SPF of at least 30+ for adults and 50+ for children, and which is water-resistant Sun-protective clothing that is dark and tightly woven (when you hold it up to the light, you shouldn't see any light coming...

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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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Protecting your family while out in the sunshine

27/06/2017

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 Children’s skin, especially up to the age of 3 years, has lower concentrations of the...

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For the first time, melanoma diagnoses exceed 1,000 cases per year in Ireland

27/06/2017

The latest shocking figures available from the National Cancer Registry show that in 2014 there were 10,304 cases of non-melanoma skin cancer, and worryingly, for the first time melanoma skin cancer diagnoses have breached the 1,000 mark (1,041 cases), almost trebling in the last 20 years In response, the Irish Skin Foundation has launched the Protect & Inspect™ campaign Protect...

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Additional Resources

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

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