UV rating 3 cancer alert for summer

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Jackson BarrettSouth Western Times
Cancer Council WA are calling for people to slip, slop slap, seek and slide this summer.
Camera IconCancer Council WA are calling for people to slip, slop slap, seek and slide this summer. Credit: Ryan Ammon

People getting out and enjoying summer are being urged to look after their skin, with the Cancer Council WA maintaining the slip, slop, slap, seek and slide message.

Regional education officer Shenae Hawkins said people were at risk of damaging their skin when the UV rating reached three or more.

“I think it is really important for people to remember that sun and UV are very different things,” she said.

“You can’t see or feel UV radiation and that’s what causes the majority of skin cancers, so understanding that when UV is three or above, skin protection is very important.

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“It is the same old message, it is: slip on clothing, slop on some sunscreen, slap on a hat, seek some shade and slide on some sunglasses. It is the same message we have been ringing on about for so many years, but it is still as relevant now as it has been.

“People also need to be aware that using one method, sunscreen for example, is not a suit of armour, and we need to be using all the methods to make sure skin is protected.”

More incidental sun exposure like a quick walk or working outside can also catch people out, as opposed to more deliberate acts of sun exposure like playing sport or going to the beach, where skin protection is more easily incorporated into the routine.

“The sun can actually be harmful within 10 minutes, so it is really important for people to have the daily behaviour of applying sunscreen for the intermittent sun exposure that we don’t think about,” Mrs Hawkins said.

“The other thing people get caught out with is getting sunburnt when it is not a very warm day, a lot of people get caught on a cooler day because they are not expecting the UV to be so high.

“The good news is skin cancer is highly treatable but the biggest thing we see is so many people are getting diagnosed, which is a concern because it is so preventable.”

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