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Keep safe in the sun advice for rugby players and supporters

06 Aug 2013

Staff from The University of Manchester and Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust’s dermatology research team will be ensuring Salford City Reds fans don’t let their skin match the club’s name at their game on Friday, 9 August.

Prof Chris Griffiths advises Salford Reds Ashley Gibson (photo Bill McLaughlin)

Their latest sun safety awareness event takes place at the Salford City Stadium before the Reds play Leeds Rhinos.

Members of the dermatology research team are teaming up with the British Association of Dermatologists to share top tips on how to keep your skin safe in the sun and to provide sunscreen samples.

Professor Chris Griffiths, Professor of Dermatology at The University of Manchester and Consultant Dermatologist at Salford Royal, also led a mole education event on Monday, 5 August with players from the Salford City Reds team. He encouraged them to check their own skin and explained the signs to look out for.

He is urging fans to follow the players’ example by checking their own skin.

Professor Griffiths, who is also part of Manchester Cancer Research Centre (MCRC), said: “Most skin cancers can be cured if detected early. The best way to detect skin cancer is to check your skin regularly, from top to toe. You should tell your doctor immediately about any changes to a mole or patch of skin.” 

Some sunshine can be good for us, helping the body produce Vitamin D, but according to Professor Griffiths over exposure to the sun can lead to a range of skin problems.

“We may associate a tan with looking healthy, but it’s actually the opposite – a tan is a sign that skin has been damaged. Sunlight contains different wavelengths of ultraviolet light. UVA rays attack the tissues that give our skin its elasticity, leading to premature ageing and wrinkling, while UVB rays affect the top layers of our skin, causing sun burn and, in the worst cases, skin cancer.

“However, it is still possible to enjoy the sunshine this summer by taking a few important steps to protect the skin, such as using a SPF  30 with the UVA circle sunscreen daily.”

Tips for looking after your skin in the sun include:

  • Protect skin with clothing, including a hat, T-shirt and UV protective sunglasses.
  • Spend time in the shade between 11am and 3pm when it’s sunny.
  • Use a sunscreen of at least SPF 30 (SPF 50 for children or people with pale skin) which also has high UVA protection.
  • Keep babies and young children out of direct sunlight.
  • Sunscreens are not an alternative to clothing and shade, they merely offer additional protection. No sunscreen will provide 100% protection.
  • Tell your doctor about any changes to a mole.

Salford Royal and The University of Manchester are two of the partners in MAHSC, the Manchester Academic Health Science Centre, which recognises excellence across research, innovation, education and patient service.