Whether it’s due to the trend for looking super tanned or a lack of awareness about how dangerous excessive sun exposure can be even here in less sunny Britain, the latest figures show that we are worryingly complacent when it comes to looking after our skin.
Cases of malignant melanoma have increased sevenfold since the 70s and between 2007 and 2016, it killed 26,807 Britons compared to 19,839 Australians. It is now the fifth most common deadly cancer in the UK and there are now more than 140,000 new skin cancer cases diagnosed and 3,000 deaths from the disease every year in Britain.
As well as not protecting ourselves adequately, another issue is that we do not spend enough time checking for any skin irregularities such as a mole changing in shape or colour or new dark spots developing. The British Skin Foundation has joined with skin tracking app Miiskin to analyse attitudes to skin cancer in the UK and in Australia.
It found that almost one in four adults in Australia regularly take photographs to document any skin changes, compared to only 11% of Brits.
Jon Friis, founder of Miiskin, said: “The importance of self-examining your skin is more commonplace in some countries than others and many in Britain are unaware that they should regularly look out for changes.
“Spotting warning signs early can be vital, and a routine of self-examination can help – particularly for those with an increased risk of developing skin cancer, due to their complexion, over-exposure to the sun or use of UV tanning beds.”
Any new moles or marks on your skin should be checked out. If an existing mole changes size or shape, develops new colours or starts to bleed or crust and becomes painful or itchy, then visit a specialist for an immediate medical assessment.