Help us spread the word about melanoma prevention and sun protection.
Be aware that not all clothing provides the same level of sun protection. Research shows that a regular white summer cotton t-shirt may have a sun protection rating also known as Ultra Protection Factor (UPF), as little as 5. A UPF of 5 is equivalent to wearing SPF 5 sunscreen, which can let sunlight and UV rays pass through the fabric. This can lead to skin damage, premature skin ageing, skin cancer and melanoma. UPF is the sun protection rating given to Fabrics, whereas SPF is the sun protection rating given to Sunscreens.
The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends sun protective clothing as the best way to protect the skin against the sun's damaging rays. Solbari UPF50+ clothing, sun hats and accessories provide the highest sun protection rating for fabrics in the world and block harmful UVA and UVB rays. All Solbari products are tested and rated UPF50+ in Australia by the responsible Australian Government rating Agency. A UPF50+ is equivalent to wearing SPF50+ sunscreen all day long without the need to re-apply.
Most individuals do not apply enough sunscreen. This means that they are not fully protected from the sun. On average, people only use 25%-50% of the recommended amount. The recommended amount is 5ml (approximately 1 teaspoon) for each arm, leg, body front, back and face including the neck and ears. All of this equates to a total of approximately 35ml for a full body application.
Melanoma can also appear on areas not directly exposed to the sun. It does not always appear as a mole. It can appear as a lump that can be confused with a pimple or an insect bite. These are called nodular melanomas. It is important that you go and see your doctor or dermatologist to get it checked out if in doubt.
UVA rays can penetrate glass windows. Make sure you protect your skin with sun protective clothing or sunscreen if you sit behind a window and close the blind if possible in peak hours of sunlight.
Early detection saves lives. Regular skin checks with a skin doctor or dermatologist increase your chances of catching the development of skin cancer or melanoma at its earliest stage. Ideally, you are able to keep a digital record of your skin so that you can monitor any changes in your moles visit after visit and your skin lesions.
Dermatologists have developed the following ABCDE guide for assessing whether or not a mole or other lesion may be becoming cancerous.
Asymmetry: Half the mole does not match the other half in size, shape or colour.
Border: The edges of moles are irregular, scalloped, or poorly defined.
Colour: The mole is not the same colour throughout.
Diameter: The mole is usually greater than 6 millimetres when diagnosed, but may also be smaller.
Evolution: A mole or skin lesion that is different from the rest, or changes in size, shape, or colour.
If any of these conditions occur, please make an appointment to see your skin doctor or dermatologist as soon as possible. The doctor may do a biopsy of the mole to determine if it is or isn't cancerous.
When caught early, the survival rate for melanoma is very high. This emphasises the importance of regular skin checks and early detection.
You can find out more about Solbari's certified UPF50+ sun protective range by clicking the blue links below:
Australians love the great outdoors and our sunny skies make the Australian lifestyle one of the most envied in the world. Notwithstanding, the extensive “Slip Slop Slap” campaign, many Australians are still exposing themselves to the severity and dangers of ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun.
This blog explains that UV radiation is a type of electromagnetic radiation like infrared and visible light. UVA, UVB and UVC are distinct in terms of where they sit on the electromagnetic spectrum but also their potential impact on humans. UVA and UVB are both responsible for skin cancer and melanoma.
This blog confirms that Blake Milton, a chemist from South Australia invented the first commercially available sunscreen in the World. Milton developed a sunburn cream over a period of 10 years. His formulation was tested by a professor from the University of Adelaide and found to have sun protective properties.