A painful sunburn should not be part of your May long weekend

QUEBEC, May 17, 2013 /CNW/ - It's been a long winter, the sun is finally shinning and dermatologists want you to include proper sun protection as part of your plans this long weekend.

The Canadian Dermatology Association (CDA) is hosting a public skin cancer screening today from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Laurier Shopping Centre to raise awareness about the importance of early detection and prevention of skin cancer as Canadians begin spending more time outside.

"Outdoor activities are a great way to stay active and healthy during the summer," says Dr Joël Claveau National co-Chair of the CDA's Sun Awareness Program. "That includes wearing a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher, a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and limiting sun exposure during peak hours (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.) when the sun's rays are the strongest."

Approximately 35,000 cases of skin cancer are diagnosed each year in Quebec, of those 630 cases are malignant melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer, and sadly 175 people will die from it. Melanoma is a highly preventable disease; by reducing the amount of excess ultraviolet (UV) exposure your skin receives, you can reduce your risk of developing skin cancer.

Skin cancer is the only form of cancer clearly visible on the skin, so it's extremely important to know what to look for, learn your ABCDEs (A-asymmetry, B-border, C-colour, D-diameter, E-evolution). Performing regular at-home skin examinations are the best way to stay on top of your skin's health.

Environment Canada is predicting midday UV index values for this summer ranging from moderate (3-5) to very high (8-9) across Canada, so proper sun protection is a must. "Whenever the UV index is higher than three we should be especially diligent about sun protection. Too much UV radiation can lead to skin cancer and the premature aging of the skin," says Claveau.

To help identify effective sunscreen products look for the CDA Sun Protection Program logo, these products have been tested and have met the strict program criteria. These sunscreens have a minimum SPF 30, are broad-spectrum (protecting against UVA as well as UVB radiation), and are non-comedogenic, non-irritating, hypoallergenic, and minimally or non-perfumed.

About the CDA
The Canadian Dermatology Association, founded in 1925, represents Canadian dermatologists. The association provides easy access to the largest, most reliable source of medical knowledge on dermatology. CDA exists to advance the science and art of medicine and surgery related to the care of the skin, hair and nails; provide continuing professional development for its members; support and advance patient care; provide public education on sun protection and other aspects of skin health; and promote a lifetime of healthier skin, hair and nails. By doing so, CDA informs and empowers both medical professionals and the Canadian public.

To learn more about what the work CDA does visit dermatology.ca or join the conversation on Twitter.com/CdnDermatology or Facebook.com/CdnDermatology.

SOURCE: Canadian Dermatology Association

For further information:

Jennifer Scott, Director, Communications
Office: 613.738.1748 / 1.800.267.3376 Ext. 222 | Cell: 613.716.2098 |  jscott@dermatology.ca

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