South Africans cautioned to increase their knowledge about sunscreen

sunscreenWhen protecting themselves from the sun, South Africans must not only pay attention to which type of sunscreen they use but also to how much they apply and how often.

This is the view of Dr Pete Vincent of the Netcare Travel Clinics and Medicross Family Medical and Dental Centre, Tokai, who is encouraging South Africans to become fully informed about sun protection to avoid developing melanoma and other types of skin cancer. Globally, South Africa ranks as having one of the highest, if not the highest, incidences of malignant melanoma, with people in the Cape being affected worst of all*.

According to the World Health Organization, approximately 66 000 deaths occur globally each year as a result of skin cancer. In a recent survey conducted amongst 1 500 female travellers from the United Kingdom, 22% stated they would not use sunscreen because they believed it was too expensive, that it did not work or that their skin did not burn.
‘What many of these people do not realise is that those who are exposed to the sun intermittently are more likely to develop malignant melanoma, while those who have continuous lifetime exposure are more prone to develop squamous cell carcinoma, which is also a type of skin cancer,’ explains Dr Vincent.