Sunburn + Signs of Skin Cancer

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Sunburn + How to Spot Signs of Skin Cancer

As I was strolling along the beach last week I couldn’t help but notice a lot of people turning a deeper shade of red…

Why sunburn is a bad sign:

UVB rays responsible for sunburn damage DNA in the skin – this triggers the body to remove the damaged skin cells and the skin becomes inflamed. If enough DNA damage builds up over time, it can cause cells to start growing out of control — which can lead to skin cancer (scroll down to see how to spot potential skin cancers).

What to do:

If you’re out in the sun, try and keep your skin covered with at least 30SPF, reapply every 2 hours (otherwise it doesn’t work effectively), cover up and wear a wide-brimmed hat.

If you have been sunburned:

If you have been inadvertently sunburned, then use pain-killers, cool baths, aloe-vera lotions (albeit there is limited evidence for aloe vera it may be soothing) and hydrate your skin with simple moisturisers. Keep drinking water to avoid dehydration. 

SPFs we love – Saltee SPF, Heliocare, La Roche Posay, Altruist.

How to Spot Signs of Skin Cancer:

As the risk of skin cancer is significantly increased with an episode of sunburn, it is important to keep a check of your skin. You can do this at home, but it is important to get a professional opinion if you have any doubts, or if you have noticed any changes to your moles.

Here’s how to check your skin:

Look for anything new, changing, or unusual:

  • A new growth that’s pearly, transparent, brown, black, or multi-coloured
  • A mole, birthmark or brown spot which has changed in size, shape or colour. See ‘New or changing moles’ below for more details
  • A spot that continues to itch, hurt, scab or bleed
  • An open sore that doesn’t heal within three weeks

New or changing moles

With moles, follow the ‘ABCDE’ rules:

  • Asymmetry – the two halves of a mole may differ in shape
  • Border – the edges may be irregular or blurred, and sometimes show notches
  • Colour – it may be uneven. Different shades of brown, black or pink may be visible
  • Diameter – most skin cancer melanomas are at least 6mm in diameter. Report any changes to your doctor
  • Expert – if in doubt, get it checked. Your GP can help or book directly with our dermatology doctors who have 20 years’ experience in diagnosing skin cancer. Book online, call us on 020 3941 1815, or contact us here. 

How to do a self-exam

Grab a hand-held mirror, stand in front of a full-length mirror, and check the following:

  1. Face. Nose, lips, mouth, and the front and back of the ears
  2. Scalp. Part hair into sections and use the hand-held mirror to reflect into the full-length mirror
  3. Hands. Palms and backs, between fingers and under fingernails. Continue up the wrists, and examine the front and back of forearms
  4. Arms. Standing in front of the full-length mirror, begin at the elbows and scan all sides of the upper arms, including underneath
  5. Chest. Focus on the neck, chest and torso. Lift breasts to check underneath
  6. Upper back. With your back to the full-length mirror, use the hand-held mirror to inspect the back of the neck, shoulders, upper backand the back of your upper arms not visible in step 4
  7. Lower back. Still using both mirrors, scan the lower back, bum and backs of both legs
  8. Legs. Sit down, then prop each leg in turn on a stool or chair. Use the hand-held mirror to examine the genitals. Check the front and sides of both legs, thigh to shin. The finish with ankles and feet, including the soles, toes and nails (without nail polish)

If you’ve never checked your skin before, have any doubts or have noticed any changes, book an examination with a dermatologist – ours have over 20 years of experience, or head to your GP so it can be checked quickly.

 

Have a happy (and safe!) summer in the sun.

Helen & Dr Cherry

Cofounders

No. 23 Skin

02039411815

hello@23skin.co.uk

Disclaimer: this blog post is for informational purposes only. It should not be considered a substitute for professional medical advice. Always consult with a qualified healthcare provider for personalised recommendations and treatment.

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Couldn't have asked for better care. Professional and friendly. Highly recommend.
Cameron Tudor
month ago
I am delighted to have Dr Cherry looking after my skin. She inspires confidence, and the personal service provided by No. 23 Skin is wonderful.
Debbie Charkham
month ago
I had a wonderful experience at No23 Skin, the rooms were bright and airy, making you feel completely comfortable! Overall l left feeling very calm and relaxed! It’s so wonderful to be in the hands of amazing Doctorsread more
Briana Anoff
month ago
Had a great experience at No 23 Skin. The doctor helped me feel really at ease and whole atmosphere was warm. Great location too. Can’t wait to go back for my facial in a few weeks!
Stephanie Johnston
3 months ago
What a lovely find No.23 Skin is, this was my first facial post lockdown and I picked the perfect place. It is in beautiful location just off High St Ken and whilst being luxurious it was also welcoming and warm. I selected the anti-aging facial and Cecilia tailored it especially to my skin concerns. She had had such a great touch and I was relaxed from the first minute. Facial included a fabulous massage and a LED light treatment (this is a must) and after 75 mins I left with glowing skin! It’s been over two weeks and my skin still looks fresh and dewy.Next appointment is with Dr Armstrong for my wrinkle treatment. Will then be Christmas party ready!read more
Rebecca Pick
12 days ago
The team at No.23 Skin are really helpful, warm and knowledgeable. I went in for a pregnancy facial with Cecilia and she helped me with some very annoying milia that have been troubling me around my eyes for ages and nobody else would help with.I was also able to have a pregnancy safe peel which has left me with smoother skin with a more even tone. Would really recommend!read more
Petrie Randles
month ago
Couldn't have asked for better care. Professional and friendly. Highly recommend.
Cameron Tudor
month ago
I am delighted to have Dr Cherry looking after my skin. She inspires confidence, and the personal service provided by No. 23 Skin is wonderful.
Debbie Charkham
month ago
I had a wonderful experience at No23 Skin, the rooms were bright and airy, making you feel completely comfortable! Overall l left feeling very calm and relaxed! It’s so wonderful to be in the hands of amazing Doctorsread more
Briana Anoff
month ago
Had a great experience at No 23 Skin. The doctor helped me feel really at ease and whole atmosphere was warm. Great location too. Can’t wait to go back for my facial in a few weeks!
Stephanie Johnston
3 months ago
What a lovely find No.23 Skin is, this was my first facial post lockdown and I picked the perfect place. It is in beautiful location just off High St Ken and whilst being luxurious it was also welcoming and warm. I selected the anti-aging facial and Cecilia tailored it especially to my skin concerns. She had had such a great touch and I was relaxed from the first minute. Facial included a fabulous massage and a LED light treatment (this is a must) and after 75 mins I left with glowing skin! It’s been over two weeks and my skin still looks fresh and dewy.Next appointment is with Dr Armstrong for my wrinkle treatment. Will then be Christmas party ready!read more
Rebecca Pick
12 days ago
The team at No.23 Skin are really helpful, warm and knowledgeable. I went in for a pregnancy facial with Cecilia and she helped me with some very annoying milia that have been troubling me around my eyes for ages and nobody else would help with.I was also able to have a pregnancy safe peel which has left me with smoother skin with a more even tone. Would really recommend!read more
Petrie Randles
month ago
Couldn't have asked for better care. Professional and friendly. Highly recommend.
Cameron Tudor
month ago
I am delighted to have Dr Cherry looking after my skin. She inspires confidence, and the personal service provided by No. 23 Skin is wonderful.
Debbie Charkham
month ago