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This Quick Quiz Could Help You Prevent Skin Cancer

The Irish Cancer Society is encouraging people to take its fun online ‘Skin Type’ quiz.

The quiz will help people compare their skin types to top celebrities but more importantly work out how their skin responds to sun exposure.

This will help people learn more about how they can best protect themselves from skin damage and prevent skin cancer.

Take Skin Type Quiz Now

Skin cancer continues to be the most frequently diagnosed cancer in Ireland despite the fact that it is preventable in nine out of ten cases. By 2040 it is estimated that skin cancers will increase three fold. This is the greatest projected increase of any cancer in Ireland.

READ ALSO: Signs and Symptoms of Skin Cancer

 

Three in every four people in Ireland have the ‘Celtic skin type’ or types I and II which means their skin burns and does not tan or burns before it tans,

 

says Kevin O’Hagan, Cancer Prevention Manager at the Society.

 

Knowing your skin type will help you to be aware of how your skin responds to the sun and how susceptible you are to getting sunburned. Your skin type is one of the main factors in your risk for skin cancer. There are six skin phototypes, going from light to dark. Individuals with skin types I and II face the highest risk of developing skin cancer, while types V and VI are at the lowest risk.

 

Irish sunshine is so sporadic and intermittent that it often lulls us into a false sense of security. Despite the many cloudy wet summer days last year, Ultraviolet (UV) levels across Ireland are high enough to cause skin damage on 83% of the days between April and September.

The Irish Cancer Society monitored UV levels across Ireland and found that the risk was highest in southern counties, such as in Cork, where UV levels were strong enough to damage skin 95% of days. UV rays cannot be seen or felt and up to 90% of UV rays can get through even light cloud.

READ ALSO: Signs and Symptoms of Breast Cancer

Whether you are in Ireland or abroad you need to use a sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher with a UVA logo to protect your skin when outdoors and exposed to UV rays. However sunscreen cannot protect us completely from sun damage and it shouldn’t be used in order to spend longer in the sun.

Sunscreen should be used together with shade or clothing to avoid getting to much UV exposure. Even on cloudy days as much as 90% of UV rays can reach your skin and cause damage that can lead to skin cancer later in life. In Ireland it is important to protect your skin, in particular from March to October, by following the Irish Cancer Society’s SunSmart Code.

  • SEEK SHADE: when UV rays are at their strongest – generally between 11am and 3pm.
  • COVER UP: by wearing a shirt with a collar and long shorts. Also wear a hat that gives shade to your face, neck and ears.
  • WEAR WRAPAROUND SUNGLASSES: make sure they give UV protection.
  • SLOP ON SUNSCREEN: Use sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher and UVA protection 20 minutes before going outside and re-apply every two hours – more often if swimming or perspiring.
  • CHECK the UV index – cancer.ie/uvindex
  • KEEP babies under six months out of the sun.

For more information on skin cancer or how to be SunSmart, visit www.cancer.ie/Sunsmart or call the Irish Cancer Society’s Cancer Nurseline on Freephone 1800 200 700.


About the Author

Editor of eumom.ie, Mairéad Cahalan is a creator of content, a lover of music, red wine and coffee, and a part-time wedding singer! Find her on Twitter, Instagram, Soundcloud and LinkedIn.

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