The program was about the Sun and tanning – just how much is too much?
The advice for a long time has been to cover up such as a sunhat and use a high factor sun cream, but people still love a tan, so what is safe?
The reporter had recently lost her father to skin cancer and now follows the advice. She interviewed a doctor who highlighted the growing risks of skin cancer, especially Malignant Melanoma. The Professor said that skin cancers had risen by over 45% in just 10 years, and despite the advice 2,500 still died every year. She suggested our greater number of foreign holidays to sunnier climes was a major factor in this.
Another danger is the increased aging of the skin. The program compared two girls of similar age but different habits with the sun. The one who covered up and used cream was shown to have good skin, but her partner who loved the sun had done considerable damage and her skin age was much greater than her chronological age.
The reporter also examined the sun factor products market with `Which?`. Price was not always the best guide to what worked and protected best. Also foundation creams in make-up with sun protection claims was shown to have little benefit. How we apply the cream is also important as research shows it is often miss-applied leaving areas at risk when you thought you were protected, for example eyelids.
Another professor put the alternative argument that we need the sun to survive, and that to hide from the sun or over react against it also had risks. We need Vit. D from the sun and our B/P is lower with the sunshine. He even suggested that we risked greater obesity and heart attacks staying indoors more than the risk from skin cancer going out.
There is no scientific measurement that says how much sun is good or bad. The advice is the same and the best instruction is – DON’T GET BURNT!