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02-14-2008, 10:19 PM
As thousands of UK holiday makers flee for some sunshine and shop around for that 'perfect tan'. This May, the British Association of Dermatologists (BAD) will begin its annual Sun Awareness campaign which also coincides with Euro-melanoma day - a Europe wide initiative to raise awareness of melanoma - the most deadly form of skin cancer.

The campaign aims to educate people about the dangers of too much sun exposure. In particular, the association is looking to provide information in areas that have been confusing up until now.

The BAD has produced a range of easy to understand, colourful leaflets and posters have been made available free of charge, and include:

- SOS - sun safety tips to Save Our Skin
- Know your Skin Type - with sun safety information for darker skin types
- UV index
- ABCD E-asy way to check you moles

These are complemented by a 'fact sheet' and web page with frequently asked questions about sunscreen, sun safety, skin colours, and advice about new labelling on sunscreens.

The Topics include:

- What is a tan?
- Why should we be careful?
- What are UVA and UVB?
- How do sunscreens work?
- What is SPF?
- The UVA star system
- The future of sunscreen labelling
- What is photostability?
- SPF in moisturisers
- How should I apply sunscreen?
- Vitamin D
- I'm dark skinned - can I get skin cancer?
- Will I tan through sunscreen?

Our top sun safety tips:

- Protect the skin with clothing, including a hat, T shirt and UV protective sunglasses
- Seek shade between 11am and 3pm when it's sunny
- Use a sunscreen of at least SPF 15 (SPF 30 for children or people with pale skin) which also has high UVA protection.
- Keep babies and young children out of direct sunlight
- The British Association of Dermatologists recommends that you tell your doctor about any changes to a mole - if your GP is concerned about your skin, make sure you see a Consultant Dermatologist (on the GMC register of specialists), the most expert person to diagnose a skin cancer. Your GP can refer you via the NHS.

Sunscreens should not be used as an alternative to clothing and shade, rather they offer additional protection. No sunscreen will provide 100% protection.

All of the sun safety information can be viewed and downloaded from the BAD website - http://www.bad.org.uk/public/cancer (http://www.bad.org.uk/public/cancer).

http://www.bad.org.uk (http://www.bad.org.uk/)