In Britain we are approaching our glorious summertime, which means long days full of beaming sunshine. However, this also brings with it an increased risk of skin cancer if the proper skincare precautions are not taken.
According to the British Skin Foundation the disease kills 7 people per day, and nearly 100,000 new cases are diagnosed each year.
What is Skin Cancer?
Like all cancers, skin cancer is an abnormal growth of skin cells. There are 3 types- basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma. The abnormal cells are mutations that cause the skin cells to multiply rapidly and form malignant tumours. Below explains the difference between the 4 types of skin cancer
- Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC) – These form from the basal cells in the outermost layers of the skin. BCC typically forms from repeated exposure to UV radiation. These are most commonly found on the neck, ears, face, scalp and shoulders.
- Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC)- These form from the squamous cells in the outermost layers of the skin. These are most likely caused by sun exposure or use of sunbeds. These are most commonly found on the ears, face, scalp, neck and hands.
- Melanoma- These form from the melanocytes which create skin pigmentation. These are typically caused by sun and sun bed exposure. These may look like moles due to their dark pigmentation.
- Merkel Cell Carcinoma (MCC)- This is a very rare form of skin cancer that is incredibly aggressive. These are caused by Merkel cell polyomavirus which is most common in people over the age of 50 years with very fair skin.
Typically, skin cancer forms on skin that is regularly and repeatedly exposed to the suns rays. However, skin cancer can form anywhere and not just as a result of sun exposure.
Risk Factors for Skin Cancer
- High levels of sun exposure
- Fair skin and skin that burns easily.
- Use of sunbeds
- Having more moles
- People with a supressed immune system
- If you have previously had skin cancer
- Family history of skin cancer
A common misconception is that you only need sun protection when its sunny. This isn’t true! Sun protection should be worn every day, even when its grey and cloudy. There are two types of sun protection, chemical and physical. Chemical sun cream contains chemicals that absorb the sun's rays and converts them into thermal energy. This typically includes ingredients such as active ingredients, oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate, or octinoxate. Dermatologists tend to prefer physical sun creams, although using either is preferred to none. Physical sun protection sits on top of the skin and reflects the suns rays, meaning that they do not absorb. The main active ingredients are titanium dioxide and zinc oxide.
Perfect Miracle SPF
The Perfect Miracle SPF 50 Face Cream is the a potent broad-spectrum protective sun cream which helps to protect from the ageing and health-damaging effects of UVA and UVB rays. The Perfect Miracle SPF 50 Cream is a physical sunscreen, the active ingredient in this is titanium oxide. Additionally, the cream contains Thermus thermophilus ferment which is a bacterium that when placed on the skin has been found to protect against damage from enzymes, pollution and environmental factors. We recommend using the Perfect Miracle SPF 50 Cream daily as part of your morning skincare routine. In addition to using sun protection when using ingredients that increase solar sensitivity, such as Azelaic Acid, AHA’s and Retinol. Each tube contains 50ml of sun protection for long-term use.
Shop the Perfect Miracle Beauty SPF 50
When to seek help?
The NHS recommends to:
‘See a GP if you have any skin abnormality, such as a lump, ulcer, lesion or skin discolouration that has not healed after 4 weeks. While it's unlikely to be skin cancer, it's best to get it checked.’
How to Check you Moles?
It’s important to maintain regular checks of your moles. Overall, most moles are harmless, its only if they change shape size or colour that you should seek guidance of your GP. Things to look out for:
- If a mole has changed colour
- If a mole is more than 2 colours
- A mole with uneven borders
- Pain from a mole
- Itching, or bleeding from a mole
- A mole that has become raised
- A mole that has a dry and crusted appearance