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Sun Protection & Skin Cancer

Skin cancer is a year-round issue

More than 300 New Zealanders die from skin cancer every year.

You can actively protect yourself against the danger of developing skin cancer by keeping your body and head covered up as much as possible and by regularly applying a 30+ broad spectrum sunscreen.

You are still at risk of sunburn and skin cancer on a cooler or cloudy day. Sunbeds emit UV radiation, so are not a safe option for getting a tan. A fake tan or spray tan is the way to go.

skin cancer screening

Are you at risk?

Some people are more at risk of developing skin cancer than others. Risk factors include:

  • Having fair skin or skin that burns easily
  • Having blue or green eyes, or red or fair hair
  • Having a lot of freckles or moles
  • Being aged 50 or over
  • Intense exposure to the sun, e.g. sunbathing
  • Having had skin cancer in the past
  • Having a close relative who has had melanoma
  • Having a compromised immune system

What you can do

  • Avoid being in the sun between the peak UV radiation periods of 10am to 3pm
  • Seek shade and wear clothing that covers your shoulders, arms and legs
  • Wear a broad-brimmed hat that shades your face, neck and ears.
  • Apply SPF 30+ broad spectrum, water resistant sunscreen at least every 2 hours
  • Wear wrap-around sunglasses
  • Get to know you own skin, check regularly for changes to moles or new moles
  • Get relatives or friends to help you check
  • Visit a skin doctor each year, or more regularly if advised by your GP.

Moorhouse Medical Centre has a Minor Surgery clinic onsite with a Doctor who specialises in dermoscopy and Minor Surgical Procedures. If you are concerned about a mole or notice changes to moles, make an appointment to see your GP or you can book a consultation with the doctor in our Minor Surgery Clinic. Learn more about MoleMate.