That is the opinion of the British Association of Dermatologists, which says behaviour concerning exposure to the sun’s rays is failing to improve, despite understanding of the disease increasing.
Rebecca Freeman, a spokesman for the healthcare organisation, claims that many people who believe they are protecting themselves from harmful rays are actually putting themselves at risk.
“Many people think they are protecting their skin by applying sunscreen, but then choose a product with a low protection, use it as an excuse to stay out in the sun or don’t reapply it often enough,” she explains.
According to Ms Freeman, any exposure to ultra-violet rays (UVR) can cause serious damage to the skin, whether through sunbathing or using artificial tanning booths.
The latter in particular can emit very high doses of UVR, which is a prime factor in the development of malignant melanoma – the most fatal form of skin cancer.
“Sunbeds are not regulated, therefore many salons don’t provide accurate, or indeed any, advice regarding skin types and risks,” Ms Freeman comments.
A new report by Cancer Research UK reveals that 10,400 people were diagnosed with malignant melanoma in the past 12 months – 450 more than the previous year – which illustrates the need for health insurance.
The study also shows that the disease is the most common cancer found in men aged 25 to 54 and the second most frequent in women aged between 35 and 54.
Development of the disease can often depend on skin types as well as UVR exposure, Ms Freeman explains.
“People with skin that burns in the sun are at the highest risk of skin cancer, while people with naturally dark skin are less likely to develop the disease,” the healthcare specialist comments.
However, the statistics do not mean that people must avoid the sun entirely, she adds.
Simply ensuring that your body is sufficiently protected while on holiday or during any time you are in the sun can help to boost protection, Ms Freeman concludes.