New data collected for Cancer Research UK has shown a reticence to wear sunscreen while on days out
Scots are being urged to enjoy the warm weather safely as new figures released today reveal around four in 10 (41%) say they are more likely to protect their skin abroad than in the UK.
According to the YouGov survey, which asked people in Scotland about their behaviour in the sun, a fifth of adults (20%) said they are planning to spend more time outside in the sun in the UK this year compared to a usual summer. And with almost a third (31%) saying they’ve been sunburnt in the UK over the last 12 months, being safe in the sun is vitally important.
The figures have been released as part of Cancer Research UK and NIVEA SUN’s partnership, which offers advice to make sure everyone enjoys the summer safely. Whether on holiday or doing everyday activities, it’s important to protect skin by covering up, seeking shade and regularly applying sunscreen.
While more than seven in 10 (72%) said they would protect themselves from the sun when going to the beach on a sunny day in the UK, this figure drops markedly for other outdoor activities. Almost four in 10 (37%) say they would protect themselves from the sun whilst eating outside at a restaurant or pub and this figure further decreased to 35% when exercising outside.
And when it comes to working from home outdoors, 32% said they would protect themselves from the sun.
When asked about their sun protection habits, around a third (34%) of people in Scotland said they thought sunscreen is enough protection from the sun when in the UK. More than four in 10 (44%) say they wear a hat and almost six in 10 (58%) wear a top that covers shoulders. Seeking shade, covering up with clothes and regularly applying sunscreen, particularly between the hours of 11am and 3pm in the UK when the sun is strongest, is the best way to protect skin from the sun’s rays. This minimises the risk of lasting damage to DNA in skin cells, which can lead to skin cancer.
Karis Betts, health information manager at Cancer Research UK, said: “Whether you are on a staycation or just heading outside for a walk or a picnic, it’s important to remember the sun isn’t only strong abroad – it can be strong enough in Scotland and across the UK to cause damage too.
“Even if it doesn’t feel that warm, or it’s a cloudy day, it’s still possible to get burnt; a clear sign that the DNA in your skin cells has been damaged. Much of this damage gets repaired, but the body isn’t perfect, and some can get left behind. Over time, damage can build up and eventually lead to skin cancer.
“That’s why it’s so important that everyone remembers to protect themselves this summer. Avoid getting caught out by checking the UV index on the weather forecast or online. If it’s three or above it’s time to think about sun safety – especially if you have light or fair coloured skin or burn easily.
“Whatever you are doing, remember the three-step method to enjoy the warm weather safely – cover up, seek shade and regularly apply sunscreen.”
Cancer Research UK and NIVEA SUN have created easy-to-remember advice on how to stay safe when the sun is strong this summer:
Between the hours of 11am-3pm in the UK
2. Cover up with clothing
Wear a t-shirt, hat and sunglasses
3. Apply sunscreen
Regularly and generously apply one with at least SPF 15 and 4 or more stars
Cancer Research UK and NIVEA SUN’s partnership launched in July 2012 and has raised millions for the charity’s vital skin cancer research.