Devon: 'Stay sun safe' over school holidays

Sunburn and skin cancer, the burning issue | Cancer Research UK


Devon has some of the highest rates of skin cancer in the UK, with over 300 cases of malignant melanoma per year and 40 related deaths.

About 80% of skin cancer cases could be prevented through avoiding overexposure and staying safe in the sun. 

The weather in Devon can be unpredictable, and it's easy to get caught out and burn accidentally. When the sun finally comes out, we should be prepared to cover up, seek shade, and wear a hat, sunglasses, and at least SPF 15 sunscreen. 

It's possible to burn even through cloud cover in Devon, whether you're working outside, at the beach, playing sport or doing the shopping. 

Skin cancer is caused by over-exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light, either directly from the sun or from sunbeds Burning badly, even just once every two years, can triple the risk of malignant melanoma. 

Take extra care if you have fair skin that burns easily, lots of moles or freckles, a history of sunburn, red or fair hair, light-coloured eyes and a personal or family history of skin cancer. 

Prevention is best, and it's also important to check your skin regularly for signs of change, if skin cancer is detected early there are good chances of treating it. 

Signs to look out for include: 

  • a change such as a new mole, or any moles, freckles or patches of normal skin that change in size, shape or colour. 
  • a new growth or sore that will not heal. a spot, mole or sore that itches or hurts. 
  • a mole or growth that bleeds, crusts or scabs. 


For more tips on staying safe in the sun, go to: