Sunbathers 'still not conscious enough' of skin protection

Over 50s looking for the healthiest way to enjoy the summer sunshine have been reminded of the importance of proper skin protection.

Latest Cancer Research UK statistics have shown a quadrupling of malignant melanoma rates in the past 30 years, prompting the British Association of Dermatologists (Bad) to suggest that while awareness of skin cancer has improved, people are not taking the necessary steps to prevent it.

Rebecca Freeman, a spokeswoman for Bad, suggested that many people wrongly assume that they are protected by low-factor sunscreen or fail to reapply it often enough.

She also warned of the danger of overusing sunbeds and tanning salons, as a lack of regulations means that many users are not receiving appropriate levels of advice on cancer risks.

However, Ms Freeman stressed that sunbathing need not be dangerous as long as precautions are taken.

She said: "Taking a few steps when out and about in the summer sun or when on a sunshine holiday will help to protect you from sunburn and the risk of skin cancer."

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