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Skin cancer-what’s the risk?

We all have a different skin type so you should take time to know your type and that will enable you to know your risks and what protection you need.

Type 1-Light

Skin is pale and burns very easily, rarely tans. Usually light coloured or red hair and freckles.

If you have type one skin, your skin colour does increase your risk of skin cancer.

Type 2 – Normal

Skin is fair and usually burns with sun exposure, will gradually tan. Hair can be dark but still have fair skin.

If you have Type 2 skin, your skin colour does increase your risk of skin cancer.

Type 3- Tan

Skin that burns when exposed to long or intense exposure to the sun, generally tans fairly easily.

If you have type 3 skin, your skin colour may increase your risk of skin cancer particularly if skin has burned in the past.

Type 4 – Brown

Skin that is often described as olive coloured, usually tans easily, but can burn when exposed to long or intense exposure to the Sun.

If you have type 4 skin, your skin colour may increase your risk of skin cancer particularly if skin has burned in the past.

Type 5 – Dark

Type five skin is naturally brown usually accompanied with brown eyes and dark hair.

Brown skin types can burn when exposed to long or intense exposure to the sun.

If you have type 5 skin, your skin colour may increase your risk of skin cancer particularly if skin has burned in the past. Observation of the palms of hands and soles of the feet are important on dark skin.

Type 6 – Very Dark

Very dark and black skin usually with dark brown eyes and black hair. This type of skin darkens very easily when exposed to the Sun and would rarely burn.

Although having skin type 6 does give you some protection because you have greater amounts of melanin in the skin, it is still possible for this skin type to have skin cancer, particular attention should be paid to the palms of the hands and the soles of feet.

In general, the most common risk factors are :

Your skin type

Those who have suffered sunburn (especially with blisters) in the past and in childhood.

Multiple moles on the body (more than 50 is considered multiple)

Family history of skin cancer.

If you have suffered previously from skin cancer.

If you have a suppressed immune system.

Outdoor workers and people with outdoor hobbies, or anyone who has had a lot of exposure to the sun throughout their lives.

Sunbeds-those who use or have used sunbeds in the past.

Your age, your risk increases as you age, although you can still get skin cancer when you’re relatively young.

If you detect any changes to a mole or patch of skin, you should seek medical advice as soon as possible. Most skin cancers are curable when detected early.

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