Balance your risk of skin cancer while maintaining your vitamin D levels
The sun's UV radiation is the major cause of skin cancer as well as being the best natural source of vitamin D. It is important to balance the risk of skin cancer with maintaining adequate vitamin D levels.
When the UV Index for the day is three or above, sun protection is needed. The daily sun protection times are reported in the weather section of daily newspapers and on the Bureau of Meteorology website. You can also download the SunSmart app.
To protect yourself:
- Slip on sun-protective clothing.
- Slop on SPF30 (or higher) broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen 20 minutes before you go outdoors and every two hours afterwards.
- Slap on a hat that protects your face, head, neck and ears.
- Seek shade.
- Slide on sunglasses – make sure they meet the Australian standard.
- Check out the sun protection times each day at sunsmart.com.au, bom.gov.au/uv, on the weather page of your daily newspaper or on the SunSmart app and make sure you know when you need sun protection before heading out!
- Check your skin regularly. See your doctor immediately if you have a sore that doesn't heal, a mole that has suddenly appeared or started to bleed, or one that has changed its size, thickness, shape or colour. For more information on checking your skin, download our Spot the difference: skin cancer information card [pdf 219K].
- Some people are at higher risk of low vitamin D. Talk to your doctor if you are concerned about your vitamin D levels or visit the SunSmart website's vitamin D section for further information.
If you would like further information on being SunSmart, visit the SunSmart website or read some past articles from our monthly cancer prevention newsletter: