26.05.2016 Lifestyle Insurance
With the summer fast approaching (hopefully!), we are already dreaming of slapping on factor 40 sun screen and soaking up the sun. But what are the dangers of too much sun. We see the sun so rarely in Ireland, is that even possible?!
Sadly the answer is yes, although we need sunlight for life and it plays an essential role in the production of vitamin D, too much sun can be harmful.
Here in Ireland, skin cancer is the most common form of cancer with 10,000 new cases diagnosed in 2011.
To avoid any type of skin cancer it is essential that you enjoy the sun safely. Here are our top tips:
1. Avoid the sun between 11am and 3pm when the sun is at its hottest.
2. Seek natural shade in the form of trees or other shelter.
3. Wear a wide brim hat that protects your ears and neck. Wear long sleeve shirts and long trousers to protect your arms and legs.
4. Protect your eyes with sunglasses that not only block out 100% UVA and UVB rays but also wrap around your eyes. Have a read of our article on why sunglasses are important.
5. Remember to apply suntan lotion 15 minutes before going out in the sun and also any time you sweat or after swimming, even if you are in the shade.
Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is one of the components of sunlight and is emitted by the sun in the form of three wavelengths; ultraviolet A ("UVA"), ultraviolet B ("UVB") and ultraviolet C ("UVC"). There are three dangers linked to over exposure to UVA and UVB:
1. Damage to our eyesight,
2. Ageing of our skins
3. Contributes to the development of skin cancer
This is a term used to describe a group of cancerous cells that slowly develop in the upper layers of the skin (epidermis).
Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC’s) is the most common type of Non-Melanoma in Caucasians. BCC’s are slow growing, rarely known to spread and if caught in the early stages can be completely cured.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma’s or SCC’s are the second most common type of skin cancer in white or fair skin. As with BCC’s they are slow growing and will only spread if left untreated for a long time.
The more of these boxes you tick the higher your risk of developing skin cancer:
Over exposure to UV rays from the sun or sunbeds.
Since skin cancers develop slowly, the older you are the greater the chance of developing the condition, however young people, particularly babies and toddlers are also at risk.
You had a parent who suffered from skin cancer.
Sufferers of some skin conditions such as psoriasis, have an increased risk of developing skin cancer
This type of cancer is considered the least common form of skin cancer but it is the most serious and numbers are rising. In 2013 there were 984 diagnosis of Melanoma. They are twice as common in women as in men in the 15-34 age groups.
If you tick any of these boxes you are at a higher risk of developing a melanoma and need to be especially careful in the sun:
Over exposure to UV rays from the sun or sunbeds
People who have both fair and ginger hair have an enhanced risk of developing the disease
People with an abundance of skin moles or freckles have a higher risk.
Severe sunburn during childhood.
Increased risk for people who have suffered with skin cancer previously and those who have a family history.
If you are worried that your exposure to the sun was excessive in years gone by go to your GP or a screening clinic for a check-up. Chances are everything will be fine and if it is not, the earlier it is caught the better.
To improve your financial stability if diagnosed with cancer, the AIG Direct Cancer Cover policy is what you need. Cancer treatments can be hard emotionally, physically and financially. Ensure your economic health by going for the Cancer Cover policy. We will pay you a cash sum up to €32,000 with Standard cover, or up to €64,000 with Platinum Plus cover on in the event of a cancer diagnosis. Find out more and get a quote today.
The article was written by the MedOnline Medical Team. MedOnline is an interactive web/mobile clinic. The views expressed in this article are those of MedOnline and do not necessarily reflect the views of AIG Europe Limited.