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Cover Up Mate

Cover Up MateWS

Men who spend long periods of time outdoors are being urged to protect themselves against the sun this summer amid a rise in the number of people being diagnosed with skin cancer. 

Farmers, builders, sportsmen and gardeners are all being targeted by NHS England South’s “Cover Up, Mate” campaign because of their prolonged exposure to the sun – and men are a particular focus because research indicates that they are much less likely than women to slap on the sunscreen.  

Sunburn increases your risk of skin cancer and sunburn doesn't just happen on holiday, you can burn in the UK, even when it's cloudy. Aim to strike a balance between protecting yourself from the sun and getting enough vitamin D from sunlight.

Sun safety tips

Spend time in the shade when the sun is strongest. In the UK, this is between 11am and 3pm from March to October. Make sure you:

  • spend time in the shade between 11am and 3pm
  • make sure you never burn
  • cover up with suitable clothing and sunglasses such as a a wide-brimmed hat that shades the face, neck and ears, a long-sleeved top,
  • take extra care with children
  • use at least factor 15 sunscreen
  • wear sunglasses with wraparound lenses or wide arms with the CE Mark and European Standard EN 1836:2005

Who should take extra care in the sun?

You should take extra care in the sun if you:

  • have pale, white or light brown skin
  • have freckles or red or fair hair
  • tend to burn rather than tan
  • have many moles
  • have skin problems relating to a medical condition
  • are only exposed to intense sun occasionally – for example, while on holiday
  • are in a hot country where the sun is particularly intense
  • have a family history of skin cancer

People who spend a lot of time in the sun, whether it's for work or play, are at increased risk of skin cancer if they don't take the right precautions.

Official NHS Choices advice on sun safety can be found here

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