Teenagers: ditch your tan

The focus of a campaign on teenagers and tanning this National Skin Cancer Awareness week is to ditch the tan and #ownyourtone.

Partnering to put this message out is the Australasian College of Dermatologists (ACD) and Cancer Council who are reminding Australians of the importance of sun protection and early skin cancer detection.

ACD President Dr Andrew Miller said, “The message of slip, slop, slap, seek and slide is well known, however, young people often don’t think about the consequences of tanning and are more concerned with immediate beauty perceptions. UV damage is cumulative, so tanning in your 20s will show as early ageing of your skin in your 30s and increase your chances of skin cancer in your 50s. You are better off embracing your natural skin tone and protecting your skin from the sun.

“The earlier that skin cancer is diagnosed and treated, the greater the chance of survival so it’s important to be familiar with your skin and carry out frequent self-examinations of your entire body.”

ACD President-elect Dr David Francis said, “Early diagnosis is key to successful treatment. Dermatologists unfortunately see a huge number of patients with some form of skin cancer. Removing the primary melanoma at the origin will resolve 90 per cent of cases of the disease which makes early detection and diagnosis absolutely critical.”

GPs remain at the front line of skin cancer detection for most Australians, however, people who are at high risk of skin cancer, or who have a suspicious mole or spot which may require more complex care, should be referred to a dermatologist by their healthcare professional.

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