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Skin cancer awareness campaign heads to the South Coast

Over half of people in Bournemouth are risking their lives for a ‘perfect’ tan according to a survey by SunSense and Melanoma UK, who recently launched a skin cancer awareness campaign in the city.

More than 10% of those surveyed in Bournemouth are ‘serial tanners’ and 75% admit to tanning on holiday and special occasions. The survey also found that:

  • Eighty percent of children have been burnt by the sun
  • Sixty-six percent only apply sunscreen on holiday
  • One in three parents use sun protection factor (SPF) 50 or 50+ on their children, but most use SPF 15 or less on themselves.

SunSense is challenged the city to reveal its hidden skin damage under a special ultraviolet (UV) camera, as part of the ‘Dying for a tan’ tour held in Bournemouth on Saturday 4 June.

Former Hollyoaks and Loose Women star Terri Dwyer has announced her support for the campaign following her own battle with melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer. Doctors advised her that her skin cancer was most likely caused by over-exposure to the sun and tanning beds, prompting her to speak out about the dangers of tanning to help cut the numbers of lives lost to melanoma each day.

‘The results of the survey commissioned by SunSense are concerning,’ Dwyer said. ‘One of the things that really struck me was that one-third of parents use SPF 50 or 50+ on their children, but most will only use SPF 15 or less on themselves. It’s something I was guilty of doing before my diagnosis, but I have learnt the hard way how important it is to protect myself as much as I protect my children.’

The advice from SunSense is to combine a sunscreen that offers SPF 50/50+ broad-spectrum protection with sun-protective clothing, a hat that protects the face, head, neck and ears, sitting in the shade, and sunglasses.

A powerful video has been produced to launch the campaign, which highlights the real cost of skin cancer and asks people to make a positive change to their health before it’s too late. Watch the video here.

The SunSense ‘Dying for a Tan’ tour will also visit the following locations across the UK in the coming months:

  • The High Street, Birmingham (2 July)
  • Fistral Beach, Newquay (6 August)

SunSense is also supporting healthcare professionals by providing them with the tools they need to communicate this important health message. Health experts will be able to experience the UV camera for themselves at the following exhibitions:

  • BAD, Birmingham ICC (5–7th July)
  • Best Practice in Nursing, Birmingham NEC (19–20 October).

For more information on where you can visit SunSense on the ‘Dying for a Tan’ tour, please click here

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