Tuesday 22 October 2019

'We need a radical rethink of how we think about tanning' - lunchtime sunburn leaving us at risk of skin cancer

Farmer's tan stock photo Photo: Getty
Farmer's tan stock photo Photo: Getty

Eilish O’Regan

LUNCHTIME and Sunday sunburn are leaving us at risk of skin cancer, a new survey has revealed.

Half of adults suffered sunburn in the last year.

Five serious sunburns increase the risk of deadly skin cancer by 80pc.

However, the findings from the HSE's cancer service show how despite the risk too many people are still exposing themselves to harmful rays.

Lunchtime and weekend sun worshippers who want to catch the sun are taking gamble with their health.

The findings emerged today as Health Minister Simon Harris launched a new skin cancer prevention policy

It is the most common type of cancer in Ireland. Over 11,000 cases of skin cancer are diagnosed each year and the number of cases is projected to double by 2045.

He said: “With half of all Irish adults getting sunburned last year we need a radical rethink on how we think about the sun and tanning.

“What people really need to know is that most skin cancers could be prevented and the behaviours that we can adopt to protect our skin and our children’s skin.”

The survey of the nation's sun habits this year shows:

Sunscreen is the most commonly used sun protective behaviour, used by almost two-thirds (73pc) of respondents

Almost one in ten respondents (9pc) take no skin protection measures

Half of all adults experienced sunburn in the past year.

More than a third of males (34pc) have experienced sunburn while working outdoors compared to a fifth of females (21pc).

Almost a third have experienced sunburn following outdoor sport or recreational activities.

Some 93pc of respondents agree that protecting their still would reduce their risk of skin cancer.

Almost two thirds (64pc) of respondents felt that a suntan makes them feel more healthy.

More females than males (65pc vs 55pc) agreed that a suntan makes them feel more attractive.

Similarly more females than males (60pc vs 51pc) agreed that a suntan makes them feel more confident.

Just over half of respondents (52pc) said that tanned skin is damaged skin.

Three quarters (76pc) of respondents are aware of the risk of skin cancer from sunbeds. This is higher among females (80pc) compared to males (71pc).

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