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Skin cancer warning from HSE 

By David Lynch - 03rd Jun 2022

Ahead of the bank holiday weekend, the HSE National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP) is launching the SunSmart campaign.

The campaign reminds people that whether at home or abroad, to protect your skin from the sun’s UV (ultraviolet) rays.

 “When you’re enjoying the outdoors in Ireland or abroad on holidays this summer, take care of your skin,” said Dr Katharine Harkin, Specialist in Public Health Medicine in the HSE NCCP.

“The SunSmart campaign outlines the steps you, your family and friends can take to protect your skin from the sun and reduce your risk of skin cancer.

“Make SunSmart part of your daily routine especially from April to September.

“[That is] when the intensity of UV radiation from the sun is greatest, even when it is cloudy.”

The SunSmart steps are as follows.  

·       Slip on clothing that covers your skin such as, long sleeves, collared t-shirts.

·       Slop on sunscreen: Use sunscreen SPF minimum 30+ for adults and 50+ for children with high UVA protection and is water-resistant. Re-apply regularly.

·       Slap on a wide brimmed hat.

·       Seek shade – Sit in the cover of trees to avoid direct sunlight. Use a sunshade on your buggy or pram. Keep babies and children out of direct sunlight.

·       Slide on sunglasses with UV protection.

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in Ireland, with over 13,000 cases annually. The number of people being diagnosed with skin cancer in Ireland is rising rapidly.

It is generally classified into two groups: melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC). Between 2020 and 2045, it is predicted that the number of cases of melanoma per year will increase by 67 per cent and NMSC to increase by 110 per cent.

Healthy Ireland published the first National Skin Cancer Prevention Plan 2019-2022 for Ireland in May 2019.

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