A pharmaceutical company is hosting a campaign encouraging people to check their skin for sun damage.
LEO Pharma, based in Princes Risborough, is running the scheme ‘Give your skin a good FEEL’ alongside cancer charity the Karen Clifford Skin Cancer charity. The campaign is being backed by MP John Bercow.
A national survey has shown that one in three people in the UK are worried about the risk of skin cancer. However, nearly 20% of people in the South East admit to never using sunscreen, and less than half use sunscreen when sunbathing on holidays abroad or in the UK.
The campaign is designed to educate people about the risks of too much sun exposure and the damaging effects it has on the skin. It aims to encourage people to look and feel their skin regularly for any changes, as sun damage can also lead to rough, scaly patches of skin which cannot always be seen easily, not just moles.
Although it is important to check moles for changes, non-melanoma skin cancers are over eight times more common, now accounting for a third of cancers detected in the UK.
As anyone can have sun damaged skin this campaign emphasises the importance of being aware of all unusual skin changes. Even premature ageing can be a sign of damage.
Dr John Lear, consultant dermatologist at the Manchester Royal Infirmary and national spokesman for the campaign, said: “Prematurely aged skin can be an indication of long-term sun damage. It’s important to regularly check for any changes, by both looking and feeling, as sun exposure can be the source of some skin cancers. People should look out for marks on their skin which are changing in shape and texture and if they have the slightest doubt, they should go and see their GP.”
MP John Bercow attended the launch of the campaign, where Dr Lear showed staff at LEO Pharma how to check their skin for sun damage.
He said: “I am pleased to support such an important campaign and delighted to attend the launch event in my constituency. With the prevalence of skin cancer increasing, it is vital that everyone is made aware of the importance of checking your skin for sun-induced changes.”
Managing director at LEO Pharma, Geraldine Murphy, said: “LEO Pharma are fully committed to the campaign’ as an effective means of raising awareness of sun damage to skin.”
Signs and Symptoms
Changes to the skin that do not heal, ulcering in the skin, discolored skin, and changes in existing moles, such as jagged edges to the mole and enlargement of the mole
Sun exposure (most common); smoking; HPV infections;some genetic syndromes, such as moles; chronic non-healing wounds; artificial UV radiation; some drugs