Families encouraged to #wearitwell over the summer holidays

Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group is encouraging families in Wiltshire to #wearitwell and share photos of their summer holiday fun in the sun as a way of reminding others about the importance of sun protection.

The campaign aims to get people in Wiltshire to share the important health guidance from NHS England and NHS Improvement’s Cover Up Mate campaign amongst their friends and families by putting the guidance into practice and uploading their photographic evidence to Twitter using the hashtags #wearitwell and #coverupmate.

Dr Richard Sandford-Hill, GP at Market Lavington Surgery and Chair of Wiltshire CCG, explains:
“Each year we remind people about the importance of covering up in sun, but this year we thought we’d get the people of Wiltshire involved in helping to spread the health advice too!
“Getting sunburnt just once every two years can triple your risk of melanoma skin cancer, so it’s important that we make sure we take the necessary steps to be able to enjoy the sun safely and to prevent ourselves from sunburn. “Many people are unaware that you can still burn if it’s cloudy or overcast and while sunburn is usually short-lived and mild, it’s important to take precautions to avoid it because it can increase your chances of developing skin cancer later in life.”

How to protect yourself from sunburn

  • Cover up when you are out in the sun – wear loose clothing and a wide-brimmed hat to protect as much skin as possible and protect your eyes with sunglasses that block at least 99% of UV light.
  • Use a sun cream with an SPF of 30 or higher and at least 4-star UVA protection and reapply every two hours and after swimming.
  • Seek shade and limit your direct exposure to the sun, especially between 11am and 3pm when UV rays are at their strongest.
  • Avoid tanning beds and sunlamps – both cause serious long-term damage and contribute to skin cancer.

What to do if you have sunburn

  • Treat minor sunburn at home by cooling the skin down by having a cool bath or shower. Then apply soothing aftersun or calamine lotion
  • Drink plenty of fluids to help cool you down and prevent you from getting dehydrated. Painkillers such as ibuprofen or paracetamol will help relieve any pain.
  • Visit your pharmacist for advice on treatment to reduce your symptoms and reduce any inflammation.

If you start to feel unwell or have any concerns about your sunburn, particularly if you are burnt over a large area, have blistering or swelling of the skin, chills, dizziness, sickness or a high temperature of 38c or above, call NHS 111 – they are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

If you notice any changes to your skin after being out in the sun, including a new mole, growth or lump or you have any moles or freckles that have changed in size, shape or colour, you should go and get them seen by your GP. Skin cancer is much easier to treat if it’s found early.

In the UK 86% of cases of melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer, could be prevented through enjoying the sun safely.

Find out more: http://www.wiltshireccg.nhs.uk/our-campaigns/wear-it-well-wiltshire