The importance of wearing suncream

By Mary Dennehy

DID you know that wearing sunscreen is advised in Ireland from April 1 until the end of September?

A professor at Tallaght University Hospital has this week issued a reminder about the importance of wearing sunscreen, a message which co-incides with Melanoma Awareness Month. 

TUH Sunscreen info compressor

The Tallaght University Hospital information charts - the UV Index Image courtesy of The Irish Skin Foundation

The message is also timely as sunny weather coupled with the closure of schools and work places has resulted in families spending more time in their gardens and local parks.

According to Professor Anne Marie Tobin, Consultant Dermatologist Tallaght University Hospital and the National Clinical Lead for Dermatology with the HSE, sunscreen should be worn in Ireland for six months of the year.

Prof Tobin referenced the Government’s Sun Smart Code, which advices that sunscreen is worn in Ireland between April 1 and the end of September.

“People think because they’re not going on a sun holiday that they don’t need to be using sun protection”, Prof Tobin said.

“We all need to be wearing factor 30 on our hands, neck and face and children need factor 50 [in Ireland from April 1 to the end of September].

“It doesn’t matter if the sun is shining or if it’s cloudy.

“It’s not about the sunshine, it’s the UV radiation.”

Prof Tobin stressed that while sunscreen is advised every year, the current situation strengthens the need for sunscreen as individuals and families are exposed to more daylight as they stay home from school and work.

“There are 12,000 cases of skin cancer in Ireland each year… it is the fourth most common cancer in Ireland”, Prof Tobin said.

“The bulk of skin cancers are not lethal, but there is quite a significant number of diagnosis.

“Sun is the main cause and the second one, is our fair skin type.”

Prof Tobin said that genetics can also play a less common role, but that sun is the main factor.

According to Prof Tobin, melonoma doesn’t always arise in a mole that’s already present on the skin.

It can arise in a new mole, a new red spot or a scarred area that doesn’t clear.

If you have a spot or scarred area that doesn’t clear within six months, a trip to the GP is advised.

Tallaght University Hospital also runs a weekly rapid access clinic for suspicious moles, which, at this time of the year, is seeing between 30 and 40 patients a week.

For further information and advice on keeping your skin safe visit the Irish Cancer Society on Cancer, the Irish Skin Foundation at Irish Skin or HSE.

By subscribing to The Echo you are supporting your local newspaper Click Here: Echo Online.

Prev Walkers rescue ducks separated from mother
Next Concern at rise in illegal dumping
  • Walking miracle Karlee (8) thanks people for saving her life
  • Return of the flying ants!
  • Irish football supporters came out in force to remember Jack Charlton
  • Crowds gather to pay respect to former chairperson Brendan Moran
  • HSE launch Covid-19 Tracker App

We use cookies to improve your experience on our site, personalise content, provide social media features, analyse our traffic, show you relevant advertising and to target and report on ads. By using the site, you consent to the use of cookies that may process personal data for these purposes.