LONDON, August 21, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --
Give your skin a good FEEL: New awareness campaign launched to highlight the importance of checking your skin for sun damage all year round
- With Photo
A new survey shows that over half of people (57%) in the UK have experienced sun overexposure this year, despite the wet and cool summer. Those polled have noticed pink or redness to their skin (33%), sun marks where clothes had been (31%), with others experiencing skin that was sensitive (15%) or painful to the touch (8%). The poll showed that the majority (74%) of people experienced these signs of sun damage whilst in the UK, demonstrating that even a small amount of sunshine can cause damage to the skin.
Despite high numbers of people experiencing discomfort (35%) caused by sun overexposure and their concerns with sun damaged skin (28%) or skin cancer (15%), the poll shows what little effort people are taking to protect themselves from the sun. A third (34%) of those polled stated they either never apply sunscreen, or rarely do so, and over a quarter (29%) have not used any form of sun protection to prevent skin damage this summer. Worryingly almost one in five (19%) see sunburn as a natural part of the tanning process. The poll also highlights a staggering eight in ten people (83%) have been sunburnt at some point in their lives.
Sun-induced skin damage can take years to develop.
- Each year there are more new cases of skin cancer in the UK than breast and lung cancers combined.
- Non-melanoma skin cancers are over 8x more common than those associated with moles, and account for around a third of cancers detected in the UK.
- There are around 100,000 cases of non-melanoma skin cancers reported in the UK each year.
- The risk of developing skin cancer, may be increased by sun exposure and a history of sunburn.
Dr John Lear, Consultant Dermatologist at the Manchester Royal Infirmary, commented, "The effects of overexposure to the sun are apparent, it's critical for everyone to be more aware of the risks associated with sun damaged skin." This new survey data suggest that people are not taking the necessary precautions to reduce their exposure to the sun. Dr Lear added "It's important to remember that it's not just the Summer months you should be thinking about your skin and sun damage, UV levels can be high and catch people unaware throughout the year."
A new awareness campaign 'Give your skin a good FEEL' is launched today nationally to address the need to check your skin for changes as a result of sun damage. The campaign highlights that importance of both looking and FEELing the skin for changes, as some important warning signs of sun damage are easier to feel than see - not all sun damage is related to moles. One of these warning signs is solar keratosis, a potentially pre-cancerous skin condition caused by overexposure to sunlight. Solar keratosis is often a scaly or sandpapery patch of skin that is not always easy to see, however is far easier to FEEL.
The campaign has been launched by LEO Pharma in partnership with a key national skin cancer-specific charity, the Karen Clifford Skin Cancer charity (Skcin). Charlotte Fionda, Director of Skcin, says, "Sadly, public awareness of the dangers of overexposure to UV light is very poor. We hope the launch of this campaign will encourage people to be skin savvy, to read up on the subject and visit the campaign website http://www.checkskinchanges.com for practical advice."
Celebrity and TV host Amanda Holden adds her support for the campaign, "Despite being in the public eye, it is surprising how easy it is to miss changes to your skin. I believe it is vital that we do everything we can to ensure that people recognise the signs of sun damaged skin and skin cancer. This new campaign highlights the importance of regularly looking and feeling for changes to your skin."
For educational information on the signs of sun damage skin, top sun safety tips and specialist healthcare advice visit the campaign's dedicated website http://www.checkskinchanges.com .
[*] Survey conducted amongst 1,766 people in the UK. The survey was conducted by research company, Opinion Matters, between 3rd and 9th August 2012. It was sponsored by LEO Pharma.
The 'Give your skin a good FEEL!' campaign is fully funded and owned by LEO Pharma.
About the 'Give your skin a good FEEL' campaign
The 'Give your skin a good FEEL' campaign is designed to educate people about the health risks of too much sun exposure and the damaging effects it has on the skin. The campaign encourages everyone to LOOK and FEEL their skin regularly for any changes that might be signs of sun damage, including solar keratosis and both melanoma (mole-related) and non-melanoma skin cancers. Although it is important to check moles for changes, non-melanoma skin cancers are over eight times more common than melanoma, and is now estimated to account for a third of all cancers detected in the UK. As anyone can have sun damaged skin this campaign emphasises the importance of being aware of ALL unusual skin changes, not just in moles, that might be markers for skin cancer or that might suggest an increased risk of developing skin cancer.
The campaign also provides advice on effective sun protection, how to check the skin for changes, and what to look for, as well as on the importance of seeking further medical guidance. The campaign also encourages those who suspect they may have signs of sun damage to seek help from their healthcare professional for diagnosis and, if appropriate, treatment.
The charity, Skcin - The Karen Clifford Skin Cancer Charity is supporting the 'Give your skin a good FEEL' campaign. Skcin is concerned with providing education and raising awareness on the subject of sun safety and the early detection of skin cancers in order to save lives.
About sun damaged skin
Sun damaged skin is a growing problem. Every year there are more new cases of skin cancer in the UK than breast and lung cancers combined. There are over 30 new cases of melanoma (mole-related skin cancer) diagnosed every day, that's more than 1 an hour.
Premature ageing can be a sign of cumulative sun damage. Sun exposure is the main cause of some skin cancers, so it is important to pay attention to skin changes.
Sun exposure can lead to skin damage regardless of skin type. However,people with fair skin, who burn easily in the sun, use sun beds or spend much of their time outdoors are at an increased risk of sun damage.
About LEO Pharma
LEO Pharma is a leading global pharmaceutical company specialising in dermatology (skin) and thromboembolic (blood clotting) care. Headquartered in Denmark, the Company has more than 5,000 employees in 61 countries and its products are sold in more than 100 countries.
LEO Pharma and its affiliates are independently owned by the LEO Foundation. This independent, private institution provides stability to plan and implement focused, long-term research and development programmes. It also allows LEO Pharma to make fast decisions, and respond quickly to great ideas. Thanks to the LEO Foundation, LEO Pharma is able to offer a long-term commitment to people with life-changing conditions, their healthcare professionals and associated patient support organisations.
LEO Pharma UK was established in 1960. Based in Princes Risborough, Buckinghamshire, the company employs approximately 240 people in Commercial, Sales, Marketing, Medical, Clinical Operations, Biometrics and Business Support Services. In the UK, LEO Pharma markets prescription only medicines with a focus on treating skin conditions such as psoriasis and infected eczema, as well as blood clots.
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SOURCE LEO Pharma