Author: Vanessa Ngan, Staff Writer; Copy Editor: Clare Morrison; Chief Editor: Dr Amanda Oakley, Dermatologist, Hamilton, New Zealand, October 2013. About Melanoma is sponsored by the New Zealand Dermatological Society Incorporated.
One of the most important ways to stop melanoma and other skin cancers from growing is to keep out of the sun. Ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun are the main cause of melanoma. Reduce your chances of getting melanoma by following the few simple points below:
In summer time, especially between 11 am and 4 pm (peak sunshine hours), spend as little time as possible outside, whatever the weather or temperature.
Stop tanning! Baking under the sun is not safe. A glowing tan is not a sign of good health, it is a sign that you have damaged your skin.
Keep away from sunbeds and tanning salons! The more you use them and the younger you are when you start using them, the greater your chances of getting skin cancer, including melanoma.
Whatever the weather is like and whatever you are doing, cover up! Wear clothes to protect your skin, wide-brimmed hats to cover your head and face, sunglasses to protect your eyes, and shoes to protect your feet.
Apply sunscreen to all areas of uncovered skin before going outside.
Be extra careful when near water, snow and sand, as they reflect the sun’s rays, which can increase your chance of sunburn.
Look after your kids – they too need protection from the sun’s rays. Teach them early to be sun-safe!