Cover Up Mate and reduce your risk of skin cancer

19 July 2017 – As part of the national Cover Up Mate campaign Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is urging men who spend long periods of time outdoors cover up and to protect themselves from the sun. 

The number of people being diagnosed with skin cancer is increasing and men are being targeted as they are less likely to slap on the sun cream and don’t realise the harm they are doing to their skin.  

Dr Richard Sandford-Hill from Market Lavington Practice said:
“Being outdoors is essential for farmers, builders, groundsmen and sportsmen, but it’s important they understand the risks associated with the sun and take steps to keep themselves safe from skin cancer. Getting burnt, even if it is just slightly, does increase your risk in the long term.”

Skin cancer rates in the South West are higher than average and figures released by Public Health England show that between 2005 and 2014, deaths related to skin cancer increased by 22 percent in men, but there was no increase in deaths among women.

Dean Smart, a construction worker in Marlborough is supporting the cover up mate campaign and said:
“I would urge anyone who works outside to cover up and make sure they wear suncream.  It’s great working outside when the sun is shining and I didn’t really think about the risks of skin cancer that come with it – I will definitely be slapping on the sun cream and covering up from now on.”
Dr Sandford-Hill continues:
“The good news is that’s it’s easy and simple to keep yourself sun-safe when working outside.  By taking just a few minutes to apply sun cream and ensure you’ve got your hat and sunglasses can help protect you from skin cancer.”

Top sun safe tips include:

  • Use at least factor 15 sunscreen with 4 stars and use plenty of it
  • Apply sunscreen to all exposed skin – don’t forget your neck and ears and your head if you have thinning or no hair
  • Wear sunglasses and a hat
  • Get to know your skin and check on a monthly basis to detect any change in the colour or size of moles. If you are concerned that a mole is changing you should see your GP in the first instance.  The sooner a cancerous mole is discovered the better the chance of successful treatment.