02 May 2007

Preventing skin cancer

Worldwide, the highest incidence of skin cancer is found amongst the Europeans living in South Africa and Australia.


Worldwide, the highest incidence of skin cancer is found amongst the Europeans living in South Africa and Australia. Both these countries receive a very high level of Ultraviolet (UV) Radiation. Dr Carl Albrecht expressed concern at the fact that South Africans are not nearly as conscious of the dangers as the Australians are.

The cause of skin cancer is almost always overexposure to (UV) radiation form the sun or a sunbed. Many people forget that one can still get sunburnt through light cloud or through shallow water. A suntan is not a healthy thing – on the contrary.

It is easy to prevent skin cancer. Wearing a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses and long-sleeved, loose and cool clothing should keep the sun off your skin. Babies and children are particularly vulnerable and should be kept out of the hot midday sun between 10 am and 4 pm. This also applies to adults. A high factor sunscreen must be applied on any exposed skin.

People with fair or red hair and pale skin should take particular care, and so should those with moles or freckles. If you have a family history of skin cancer, you should take special care.

The sun causes thickening of the skin, which leads to premature ageing and wrinkles. Exhaustion, skin irritation and sunstroke can also be caused by too much sun.

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Preventing skin cancer


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