Tips for protecting yourself against skin cancer

It is every Australian’s favourite time of year, the sun is shining, and everyone is lining up to go to the beach or relax by the pool. It is also the time of year when the risk of skin cancer is most prevalent and looking after your skin health is more important then ever.

Australia has one of the highest cases of skin related cancers in the world, with 11% of all diagnosed incidents being classified as Melanoma.

Dr Mark Lee has been a member of the Western Australian Kirkbride Melanoma Advisory Service for over a decade. He is passionate about prevention as this is always the ideal outcome when trying to protect yourself against skin cancer.

When it comes to preventive techniques, we all know the slogan “slip, slop, slap”, but did you know that it has now expanded? Cancer Council’s SunSmart now recommends Australians

  • Slip on a t-shirt
  • Slop on your sunscreen
  • Slap on a hat
  • Seek shade
  • And Slide on your sunglasses

Some of the most common mistakes Australians make around sun protection involve sunscreen. Here’s some tips:

  • Ensure you apply enough sunscreen – more is better when it comes to applying sunscreen and its effectiveness to protect against harmful UV rays
  • Always reapply sunscreen every 2 hours in-order to maintain effectiveness
  • Check your sunscreen’s expiry date – generally the expiry date for sunscreen is three years, after that it loses its original effectiveness

What should I do if I think I have skin cancer?

In the case that you develop melanoma synonyms, early detection and treatment can significantly improve recovery.

It is incredibly important that you speak with your GP or specialist if you notice new or changing sunspots, moles or freckles.