Help us spread the word about melanoma prevention and sun protection.
Be aware that not all clothing provides the same level of sun protection. Research shows that a regular white summer cotton t-shirt may have a sun protection rating also known as Ultra Protection Factor (UPF), as little as 5. A UPF of 5 is equivalent to wearing SPF 5 sunscreen, which can let sunlight and UV rays pass through the fabric. This can lead to skin damage, premature skin ageing, skin cancer and melanoma. UPF is the sun protection rating given to Fabrics, whereas SPF is the sun protection rating given to Sunscreens.
The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends sun protective clothing as the best way to protect the skin against the sun's damaging rays. Solbari UPF50+ clothing, sun hats and UPF50+ accessories provide the highest sun protection rating for fabrics in the world and block harmful UVA and UVB rays. All Solbari products are tested and rated UPF50+ in Australia by the responsible Australian Government rating Agency. A UPF50+ is equivalent to wearing SPF50+ sunscreen all day long without the need to re-apply.
Most individuals do not apply enough sunscreen. This means that they are not fully protected from the sun. On average, people only use 25%-50% of the recommended amount. The recommended amount is 5ml (approximately 1 teaspoon) for each arm, leg, body front, back and face including the neck and ears. All of this equates to a total of approximately 35ml for a full body application.
Melanoma can also appear on areas not directly exposed to the sun. It does not always appear as a mole. It can appear as a lump that can be confused with a pimple or an insect bite. These are called nodular melanomas. It is important that you go and see your doctor or dermatologist to get it checked out if in doubt.
UVA rays can penetrate glass windows. Make sure you protect your skin with sun protective clothing or sunscreen if you sit behind a window and close the blind if possible in peak hours of sunlight.
Early detection saves lives. Regular skin checks with a skin doctor or dermatologist increase your chances of catching the development of skin cancer or melanoma at its earliest stage. Ideally, you are able to keep a digital record of your skin so that you can monitor any changes in your moles visit after visit and your skin lesions.
Dermatologists have developed the following ABCDE guide for assessing whether or not a mole or other lesion may be becoming cancerous.
Asymmetry: Half the mole does not match the other half in size, shape or colour.
Border: The edges of moles are irregular, scalloped, or poorly defined.
Colour: The mole is not the same colour throughout.
Diameter: The mole is usually greater than 6 millimetres when diagnosed, but may also be smaller.
Evolution: A mole or skin lesion that is different from the rest, or changes in size, shape, or colour.
If any of these conditions occur, please make an appointment to see your skin doctor or dermatologist as soon as possible. The doctor may do a biopsy of the mole to determine if it is or isn't cancerous.
When caught early, the survival rate for melanoma is very high. This emphasises the importance of regular skin checks and early detection.
You can find out more about Solbari's certified UPF50+ sun protective range by clicking the blue links below:
As a teenager growing up in England my favourite summer pastime was sunbathing with friends. I have been extremely lucky to have not developed skin cancers (to date) and I am willing to start to take better care.