Summer is around the corner, which means most South Africans are about to up the ante on their sun exposure.
While carefree days in the sun are what childhood memories are made of, we need to be aware of the risks involved in not protecting our skin from the harsh African sun. South Africa has the second highest incidence of skin cancer in the world (second to Australia), and one of the highest of melanoma in Caucasians. According to the latest statistics from CANSA, 58 South Africans are diagnosed with skin cancer everyday, 13% of which are melanoma.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the incidence of both non-melanoma and melanoma skin cancers has been increasing over the past decades, and WHO estimates that a 10 % decrease in ozone levels will result in an additional 300 000 non-melanoma and 4 500 melanoma skin cancer cases globally. (Source).
Now I’m not here to scare you and put a dampener on the summer holidays, but skin cancer is a real and constant risk in our climate. Prevention is always better than cure, and knowing how best to protect your skin is the only way to reduce your risk. 90% of skin cancer is treatable if caught in time, so as well as practicing good sun protection, regular mole and skin checks are vital, too. You don’t necessarily have to go to a doctor to do this, you can do it yourself (with some help). Check all your moles monthly, and get someone to check those you can’t see yourself. You could use a mirror, but you may not be able to see properly. CANSA and The Skin Cancer Foundation both have wonderfully informative sites, filled with tip and facts to keep you well informed. Children are most at risk, as they are most likely to be outdoors, so parents need to make sure they are diligent with sun protection measures. Two blistering burns before the age of 18 can dramatically increase the risk of developing skin cancer later in life.
Educating children on how to be sun safe is vital. You can find a fact sheet on being sun smart for babies, toddlers and kids here. Obviously sun protection cannot be left up to the kids alone, adult supervision is needed. Thanks to an innovation from La Roche-Posay, keeping track of your kids’ (and your) sun exposure is much, much easier.
Say hello to the future of sun protection, La Roche-Posay My UV Patch. The patch is basically a second skin that, via an app, can tell you how much sun the wearer has been exposed to. The app also gives personalised sun screen recommendations. The videos below explain the technology behind the patch, as well as how to use it. The patches are ultra thin, adhere to the skin for up to 5 days, and allow you to have total control of your sun exposure. Combined with correct sun screen application, My UV Patch will ensure the wearer is not exposed to dangerous UV rays.
You can get your own My UV Patch free with the purchase of any La Roche-Posay Anthelios product from Dermastore, Skinmiles or selected Dis-Chem stores. This offer is running for the month of October, while stocks last, so be quick.