Skin cancer is on the rise in Britain, with more than 100,000 new cases diagnosed annually. Skin cancer is mainly caused by over-exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light. Non-melanoma skin cancers are the most common, with melanoma being one of the most dangerous.
Despite a surge in skin cancer deaths over the last decade, nearly a quarter of Brits have never checked their skin for life-threatening changes, new research suggests.
The same study also revealed that three per cent had a mole they were concerned about for more than three months, but hadn’t had it checked by a medical professional.
Surprisingly, 17% of Britain’s under-35s believed they were too young or weren’t exposed to the sun enough to develop skin cancer. The self-checking message does seem to be sinking in for some though, with nearly a third (31%) of those surveyed doing monthly checks - the frequency recommended by the British Skin Foundation. Almost a fifth of under 35s are also now taking ‘selfies’ to monitor their skin for moles.
However, people are still taking risks with their skin health, with one in 10 still using tanning beds and only two fifths always using sun cream when exposed to the sun, despite warnings about the dangers.
Dr Anton Alexandroff, Consultant Dermatologist & British Skin Foundation spokesperson said: “It’s important that people monitor their own skin regularly, to help track any changes which could be worrying. If any changes are noticed, the user can then visit their dermatologist for a medical assessment.”
The above statistics were gathered from an independent study of 2,027 people commissioned by skin checking app Miiskin, which has teamed up with the British Skin Foundation charity in the www.eyesonyourskin.co.uk campaign to battle the most common cancer in the UK.