1. Do a Monthly “Spot the Spot” Check Up:
Always seek medical advice as soon as possible when concerned about a particular spot on your skin. Check your skin carefully every month and ask a family member or friend to examine your back and the top of your head. If you notice any of these warning signs, see a doctor or dermatologist immediately – follow the A B C D E Warning Signs:
CANSA has partnered with Miiskin, a free user-friendly app for monitoring changes on your skin, although it doesn’t replace a doctor’s visit and isn’t a diagnostic tool. Any suspicious moles or abnormalities should be checked out by a dermatologist or medical professional. It’s another way to encourage people to be aware of skin changes and to monitor them. Extra functionalities can be accessed through a subscription that comes with a 30-day free trial and if consumers take this up, Miiskin donates 15% of subscriptions to CANSA to assist in implementing our risk reduction and support work.
2. Get Screened at Your Local CANSA Care Centre
- Go to your local CANSA Care Centre for screening with our FotoFinder Dermoscope machine – be sure to make an appointment as the machines ‘roam’ between Care Centres.
- If you are concerned re symptoms, please do not wait – contact your Care Centre, doctor or dermatologist immediately.
3. Avoid the Following
- Stay out of the sun between 10am and 3pm – stay under the shade of trees or an umbrella as much as possible
- Avoid sunbeds & sunlamps
1. Use an Effective Sunscreen
- We have raised our Seal of Recognition standards & requirements for sunscreens. In addition to current SA standards, as of 1 April 2013, sunscreens bearing our Seal need to comply with the European Colipa Standards.
- Our CANSA Seal of Recognition logo (CSOR) appears on approved sunscreen products and is a guarantee that the manufacturers of these UV protective products have complied with CANSA’s strict set of criteria – see logo to the right.
- See list of CANSA’s SunSmart Sunscreen Partners…
- Be sure to use a sunscreen with an SPF of between 20 and 50 & 30 and 50 for fair to very fair skin.
- Products usually expire two years after manufacture – don’t use a product that has been opened and used after a year has passed.
2. Apply Sunscreen Correctly
- It’s important to know the best SPF for your skin-type
- Always apply sunscreen 20 minutes before you go outside and re-apply at least every two hours, after towel drying, perspiring or swimming.
3. Wear Protective Clothing
- Wear sunglasses with a UV protection rating of UV400
- Wear protective clothing & swimsuits and thickly-woven fabric hats with wide brims – avoid caps where the neck & ears are exposed
- Buy SunSmart garments & apparel… – look out for CANSA’s swing tags (right) & SunSmart Choice logo (top right) on clothing, hats & summer fun accessories.
Educate & Protect Children
Our youth should take special precaution when spending time in the sun – two blistering burns before the age of 18, can dramatically increase the risk of getting skin cancer later in life.
Parents and schools need to play an increasingly important role in educating our youth re being SunSmart. Unfortunately a recent study shows that most schools are not SunSmart. Read more…
Babies younger than 1 year should never be exposed to direct sunlight.