Protect against skin cancer in
DONEGAL had enough
ultraviolet levels from the sun to cause skin damage
even in non-summer months last year, the Irish
Cancer Society has warned.
New figures from the charity show that the UV index
posed a risk of skin damage in nearly 83 per cent of
the days between April to September.
The risk was highest in southern counties generally
and in Cork specifically, at 95 per cent.
UV rays cannot be seen or felt while up to 90 per
cent of UV rays can get through even light cloud.
Ireland has the highest reported incidence of
non-melanoma skin cancer in Europe, the society said
as it launched its SunSmart campaign.
RTÉ weather forecaster Nuala Carey
pictured with the SunSmart Kids - siblings Alexandra
(6) and Eve O’Donnell
(4) from Rathgar, Dublin - at the launch of SunSmart
The number of diagnosed
new cases of melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer
in this country reached over 10,000 for the first
time in 2011.
This marked an 81 per cent increase in incidence
since records began in 1994. The largest increase in
cases was found in young people who live in affluent
urban settings who are exposed to repeated sunburn,
probably from leisure activities.
“Most people think they don’t need to take care of
their skin when in Ireland but the truth is very
different. Even on cloud and cool days, from April
to September, UV levels in Ireland can be high
enough to damage skin and increase skin cancer
risk," said ICS cancer prevention officer, Rosemary
“Skin cancer can be prevented in nine out of ten
cases by protecting the skin from over exposure to
The SunSmart Code
Seek Shade: UV rays are at their strongest –
generally between 11am and 3pm.
Cover up: Wear a shirt with a collar and long
shorts. Also wear a hat that gives shade to your
face, neck and ears.
Wear wraparound sunglasses: Check your sunglasses
have UV protection.
Slop on the sunscreen: Use sunscreen with SPF 15
(SPF30 for children) or higher and UVA protection 20
minutes before going outside and re-apply every two
hours – more often if swimming or perspiring.
Keep babies under six months out of the sun.
Check the UV index at