Discount Drug Stores is running its Sun and UV Awareness Clinics from January to March 2015, to highlight the damage customers are doing to their skin.
DESPITE AUSTRALIA HAVING the highest rate of skin cancer in the world, with around two in three Australians expected to be diagnosed with skin cancer before the age of 70, three-quarters of women are either not applying sunscreen, or are doing so ineffectually.
The clinics will let customers see how much UV damage has been done to their skin, and can prevent further damage.
“Australia has such a sun-loving, outdoor lifestyle, but we also have a shockingly high prevalence of skin cancers that has risen by 60% from 1982 to 2010,” saysProfessional Services Manager at Discount Drug Stores, Casey Clark.
“These clinics will make people more aware by showing them just how little UV exposure it takes to do damage.”
Clark says despite the fact that it only takes five sunburns to double a person’s risk of skin cancer, many customers are still not stringent in protecting their skin while out in the sun, even if they’re only exposed for a short time.
“Many people think that a couple of sunburns won’t do any serious harm but this is absolutely not the case,” she says.
“Not only are they at greater risk of skin cancer but they are also causing premature ageing and sun spots which, while fade, may never go away completely.”
Discount Drug Stores’ clinics will include a 15 minute consultation with a nurse who will take a photo of the customer’s face with a double-exposure camera to reveal how much UV damage has been done to their skin.
The customer will then be informed of their results and risks as well as about harmful effects of the sun, including what ultraviolet (UV) rays are, the UV index, and how UV rays damage the skin.
Customers will also be taught about ABCDE skin checks (Asymmetry, Border, Colour, Diameter and Evolution) to ensure they know how to spot the warning signs of skin damage at home, and will be reminded of the importance of seeing their local GP for regular skin checks.
More importantly, the clinics will educate customers on the best methods for applying sunscreen in order to ensure optimum protection. Clark says many customers under-apply sunscreen or don’t apply or reapply at the right times.
“Many people don’t realise that you actually need a lot of sunscreen that is at least SPF30+ to protect yourself from UV rays, or that it needs to be applied half an hour before going outside so that it sets in,” she says.
“A 250ml tube should only last seven applications.”