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Sun myths & facts quiz

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Getting bad sunburn once as a child increases your skin cancer risk.

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Getting bad sunburn once as a child increases your skin cancer risk.

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Children and teens are most likely to spend lots of time in the sun, often without sunscreen. If your child's skin burns it makes them more likely to get skin cancer, especially melanoma, when they get older. Use clothing and hats for extra protection and an appropriate sunscreen. Babies under 6 months should be kept out of direct sunlight as their thin, sensitive skin can burn very easily.

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If you have dark skin you won’t get sunburn or skin cancer.

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If you have dark skin you won’t get sunburn or skin cancer.

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

No one is safe from too much sun, regardless of skin colour. Although darker skin can tolerate sun for longer than pale skin, even dark skin can be damaged if exposed to enough UV light. Skin cancer is less common in darker skinned people but they are often diagnosed with aggressive skin cancer in the later stages - because of the myth that they are protected.

You can only get skin cancer in places that are exposed to the sun.

You can only get skin cancer in places that are exposed to the sun.

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

You can develop skin cancer anywhere on your body, regardless of whether the skin is exposed to the sun. Skin cancer is on the rise in the UK. The NHS recommends checking your entire body for suspicious spots or moles every couple of months. The two most common skin cancers, basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, are strongly linked to sun exposure and usually develop on the face, ears, and hands.

What's wrong with using tanning beds when you're young?

What's wrong with using tanning beds when you're young?

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Tanning beds give you a concentrated dose of ultraviolet light. It causes skin ageing and could increase your risk of malignant melanoma skin cancer. Research suggests people who use tanning beds before age 25 have a 75% higher risk of developing skin cancer. A review by the World Health Organisation concluded sunbeds are "carcinogenic to humans".

Getting a base tan helps protect against sun damage.

Getting a base tan helps protect against sun damage.

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Any skin that is tanned is already damaged by UV rays. There's no such thing as a safe tan from the sun. Tanning increases your risk of skin cancer and speeds up your skin's ageing process. If you feel you need a "base tan" to look good try a fake tanning lotion for your golden glow. However, remember even though you may look tanned, your skin is still unprotected and you need to use sunscreen.

Makeup works to protect skin from sun damage.

Makeup works to protect skin from sun damage.

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

These days, lots of makeup does contain sun protection but not all. Seek out foundations, moisturisers, eye creams and lipsticks that have appropriate SPF ratings. Moisturiser formulas are often less rub-resistant and water resistant, and are applied more thinly, than general sunscreen. A layer of powder helps fix makeup in place. Avoid shiny, high-gloss lipsticks which can actually attract harmful rays to your lips. A safer glossy look can be achieved by applying a coloured lipstick with SPF first then topping off with gloss.

Glass windows protect skin by reflecting away harmful UV rays.

Glass windows protect skin by reflecting away harmful UV rays.

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Not all rays are created equal. UVB rays can't penetrate through glass but UVA rays can. So, even if you are behind a glass window at home, work, or in the car, you should use a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen if you are exposed to sunlight. Choose an SPF of at least 30 for children and at least  SPF 15 for adults.

Which offers the best protection from the sun?

Which offers the best protection from the sun?

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

A peaked cap may cover your entire head but your cheeks, chin, and neck are still fair game for the sun. These are also the areas where some skin cancers most often develop. So don’t take any chances with your head gear. The best option is a hat with a brim that is at least 3 inches wide - and preferably angled downward for more protection. 

Wearing dark coloured clothing protects better than light colours.

Wearing dark coloured clothing protects better than light colours.

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Darker coloured clothes give you better protection against the sun. That's because UV rays can pass through lighter fabrics more easily. The best colours are black, deep blue, or bright solids like red or orange. Tightly woven clothing also offers better protection than looser weaves. If the fabric is transparent the sun can peek through too. You can now find clothing that is rated for its UPF (ultraviolet protection factor). The higher the rating is, the better it is for skin protection.

Dark sunglasses are better for blocking UV rays than light lensed shades.

Dark sunglasses are better for blocking UV rays than light lensed shades.

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

What matters is not the darkness of the lenses but their ability to protect eyes against UV rays. Invest in a pair of good quality sunglasses, rather than cosmetic glasses that may offer no eye protection at all. Look for those carrying the CE mark and the British Standard BS EN 1836:2005. This ensures that they offer a good degree of UV protection. Ideally they should fit close to the face and wrap around. 
 

It’s important because up to 1 in 10 skin cancers affect the eyelid area. Sun also increases the risk of cataracts, macular degeneration, sunburn of the cornea (keratitis), and eye cancers.
 

Which drugs can increase sun sensitivity and sunburns?

Which drugs can increase sun sensitivity and sunburns?

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug painkillers, such as ibuprofen, can make your skin more sensitive to the sun. The same goes for drugs such as:

  • Tricyclic antidepressants
  • Sulfonylureas for diabetes
  • Tetracyclines and some other antibiotics

Check the information leaflet, or with your GP or pharmacist, to see if what you are taking may make you more sun-sensitive. Also check medicines you take with you if you are holidaying in the sun. 

The most deadly skin cancer – melanoma – strikes where most often?

The most deadly skin cancer – melanoma – strikes where most often?

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Although any area can be affected by skin cancer the most exposed parts of your body are most susceptible. That is, the face, ears, neck, forearms, and hands. However, melanoma is different. It commonly develops on the upper back in men and the lower legs and upper back in women. One in 10 of us have abnormal moles that are a melanoma risk. This is why sunscreen from top to toe is so important.

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