Preventing further skin cancers

After treatment, it’s important to check your skin for new symptoms and protect your skin from the sun.

Protecting yourself from the sun is even more important after you have had treatment for skin cancer. Below are some suggestions on how you can protect your skin.

  • Cover up your skin and protect your eyes
    Wear clothing made of cotton or natural fibres that has a close weave. This will give you more protection against the sun. Keep your arms and legs covered by wearing long-sleeved tops and trousers. Wear a wide-brimmed hat to protect your face and neck. Always wear sunglasses in strong sunlight.
  • Choose the right suncream
    Use suncream with a high sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30. Choose one that protects against UVA and UVB, with 4 or 5 stars. Follow the instructions on the bottle and re-apply as recommended, particularly after swimming. Remember to apply suncream on and behind your ears.
  • Use enough suncream
    Many people do not use enough suncream. Experts say you need at least 6 to 8 teaspoons of lotion for an average-sized adult to get the stated SPF coverage.
  • Do not let your skin burn
    Stay out of the sun during the hottest part of the day. This is usually between 11am and 3pm.
  • Do not use a sunbed or sunlamp
    If it is important to you that you look tanned, use fake tan lotions or sprays.
  • Check your skin regularly for any changes
    If you notice any changes, contact your doctor as soon as possible.

Protecting yourself from the sun is important. But experts recommend that we have regular exposure to a small amount of sunshine. This is because it helps our bodies make vitamin D, which keeps our bones and teeth healthy.

If you are not often exposed to the sun, you may want to ask your specialist or GP to check your vitamin D levels. This vitamin is important for general health and can get very low in people who avoid the sun.