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Sun safety in adolescence

Sunburn isn't fun - and skin cancer certainly isn't. Stay safe in the sun with these hints and tips.

It is important for young people to understand that melanoma does not just affect adults. In fact over the past 40 years, the rate of skin cancer among children and teens has increased by more than 250%.

Indoor tanning, in particular using sunbeds, is harmful for kids and teens. At this age the skin is very sensitive to the ultraviolet (UV) rays produced by tanning beds.

There is no safe way to get a suntan in the sun or using a sunbed – it is far safer to consider alternatives like spray tans (avoid breathing in the spray) or sunless tanning lotions. Ideally your natural skin colour would be the most fashionable!

Another good way of protecting your skin from the sun’s harmful rays is to make wearing sunscreen part of your daily routine, especially if you are going to be spending time outside. Ask at your pharmacy for the best ones to suit your skin type.

It’s the damage done to your skin when you’re young that can lead to skin cancer developing in later life, so it’s vital to get clued up now and protect yourself from the sun. Worryingly, it is reported that 61% of young people aged 13-24 have avoided using sunscreen in order to get a better tan and we want to change that.

See how much you know about sun safety with our myth-busting video…

Summer is not the only time to protect skin, sun safety is for every season.  Just a few serious sunburns can increase your risk of skin cancer later in life.  Skin needs protection from the sun’s ultraviolet rays, even on a cloudy day.

For more safe ways to enjoy the sun visit:

www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/sunscreen-and-sun-safety/

www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/causes-of-cancer/sun-uv-and-cancer/ways-to-enjoy-the-sun-safely

www.teenagecancertrust.org/support-us/spread-word/shunburn-stay-safe-sun