Did you know that most skin cancers develop on the face, with the most cancer-prone area being the eyelids?
Ten percent of skin cancers develop on the eyelids, which are thinner and therefore more sensitive to the sun’s damaging UV radiation.
UV radiation is harmful all year round, even on cold or cloudy days, and it cannot be seen or felt. Excessive UV exposure permanently damages your skin cells and cause wrinkles, sun spots and skin cancers. The effects cannot be reversed, so prevention is the best cure. Sunscreen should be worn every day – even if it’s winter, even if you have dark skin, even if you’re staying inside.
However, a UK study found that, when applying sunscreen, many people miss their eyelids and the skin near the inner corners of their eyes. This may account for the high prevalence of skin cancer in this area.
When applying sunscreen, choose an SPF 30 or higher brand and use about seven tablespoons on your entire body, remembering to cover the skin on the back of your neck, arms legs and ears. Re-apply every two hours regardless of what the label says, and even more frequently if you are sweating or swimming.
Skin cancers most commonly occur on the sun-exposed areas of the body but can also develop in surprising places such as the buttocks, scalp, under the fingernails. It is therefore important to frequently check your skin for new or changing moles, and to get a professional skin check.