Skin care for summer

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STAY SAFE: Dr Richard Try is urging everyone to take care of their skin this summer.

Charlotte Varcoe

AS the weather heats up, medical professionals are encouraging people to take care of their skin and use appropriate protection.

According to the Cancer Council, melanoma is the third most common cancer in Australians excluding keratinocyte cancers.

Every year in Australia skin cancers account for about 80 per cent of all newly diagnosed cancers with the majority of skin cancers caused by exposure to the sun.

The incidence of skin cancer is also one of the highest in the world in Australia, being two to three times the rates in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom

Mount Gambier/Berrin based skin care professional Dr Richard Try said leading into summer people needed to be aware of how to protect themselves against ultraviolet rays.

He said it was not only about wearing sunscreen but also about reducing exposure to the rays by other means such as wearing hats, long sleeved clothing and sitting in the shade.

Dr Try said most of the skin cancers he and his team deal with were not melanoma but still involved an “awful lot” of excisions and cutting trauma.

“Some people have to be sent off to plastics to get them seen or removed because it would be so big or difficult to remove so it is about protecting your skin in general and thinking about what happens,” Dr Try said.

Dr Try’s fellow skin care specialists Dr Rowan Kruysse and Dr Todd Storm agreed, stating other resources such as the SunSmart phone application was a brilliant way to have an idea of the ultraviolet rays.

Dr Storm said they typically recommend people in the Limestone Coast to protect themselves against the sun even on days where it was not sunny.

“You might not think you have to cover up but the ultraviolet rays could be 11 which is very high,” Dr Storm said.

“If you are spending any time outdoors you should be doing everything to protect your sin because while it is raining, although you may not get sunburnt, the rays still cause DNA damage.”

He said the phone application was a fantastic tool in protecting people’s skin with it showing the exact number of ultraviolet rays as well as giving tips on how to protect themselves.

Dr Kruysse also commented on the importance of people protecting themselves against ultraviolet rays, stating many had incorporated wearing sunscreen into their daily routines.

He said although people were often putting sunscreen on during the day, it was important they remembered to reapply it.

“If you are outdoors for a couple of hours you are being exposed and you should be reapplying, which is a really important thing,” Dr Kruysse said.

He said it was also important to wear the right sunscreen for the right activity while also ensuring it was SPF 50 plus.

Getting your sunscreen worn off. So you need to be reapplying it all the time. You’re outdoors as well. So it’s a couple of hours of you being exposed, you should be reapplying it so that’s another important thing.

“People incorporating wearing sunscreen into their skincare regime is great because it creates a decent routine,” he said.

“If people are doing it they need to make sure they place the sunscreen somewhere where they would not forget it whether that be by the front door, next to the coffee machine or in the bathroom near their toothbrush.”


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