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Health professionals

With summer fast approaching, we’re urging all West Australians to brush up on their sun protection knowledge, so read on to find out if you’re applying enough sunscreen.

Our SunSmart sunscreen recommendations:

  • Apply sunscreen 20 minutes before going outside
  • When applying sunscreen, you need at least one teaspoon per limb, one for the front of the body, one for the back and one for the head
  • A full body application for an adult should be at least 35mls or seven teaspoons
  • Reapply your sunscreen every two hours if you are spending time outdoors and after swimming, sweating or towel drying
  • Use sunscreen in combination with other sun protection measures including SunSmart clothing, broad-brimmed hats, sunglasses and seeking shade whenever the UV index reaches three or above

Why sunscreen is important

A recent survey showed that 19 per cent of West Australian adults rarely or never use sunscreen.

Our Sunsmart Manager, Mark Strickland, said survey results showed that there was still a reluctance to use sunscreen by some adults.

“Figures indicate that around 65 per cent of all adults and teens do use sunscreen “always or usually” when they are outside,” Mr Strickland said.

“However, we need to see that figure rise if we are going to continue to reduce skin cancer in WA as 16 per cent of West Aussies tell us they use sunscreen only sometimes.

Using sunscreen regularly has been shown to reduce the risk of skin cancer, including the deadliest form, melanoma, yet daily sunscreen use in Australia is below 20 per cent.

In addition, we know that many Australians don’t apply enough sunscreen for adequate protection.

Two in three Australians will develop skin cancer before the age of 70, and every year 2000 people die from this disease.

Being SunSmart and following the recommendations above is a simple and effective way of reducing your risk of developing skin cancer.

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