Cloud cover doesn't equal sun protection

QUEBEC CITY, June 3, 2013 /CNW/ - Overcast skies can take the beauty out of a bright summer day, but it doesn't mean there's no risk of sunburn; exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UV) is still a concern. The Canadian Dermatology Association (CDA) is encouraging Canadians to be diligent about their sun protection even in times of light cloud cover.

"Many people don't realize UV can pass through partial cloud cover," says Dr. Joël Claveau, National Co-chair of the CDA's Sun Awareness Program. "People often get sunburnt on cloudy days because of a misconception that the clouds will help protect them."

Estimates for 2013 indicate 6,000 new cases of melanoma will be diagnosed and sadly 1,050 people are expected to die from this highly preventable disease. Remember most of the sun's rays can penetrate cloud cover, making it just as important to wear sunscreen, sunglasses, and proper clothing to protect the skin as on sunny days. Sun protection for children is especially important, as their skin is much thinner than that of an adult and a serious sunburn could warrant a trip to the hospital.

Always check the UV Index and plan your day accordingly. Some weather sources and smartphone apps provide an adjusted UV forecast, which indicates the UV level in times of rain or cloud cover. Peak UV hours are 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., so whenever possible plan your activities either before or after these times or in shaded areas. It is important to remember cloud cover does not mean you're safe from the sun's rays so take the necessary steps to protect yourself and your family when heading outside for the day.

About Sun Awareness Week
The Canadian Dermatology Association has organized a nationwide Sun Awareness Week since 1989. The purpose of the annual campaign is to increase the awareness of Canadians about the harmful effects of UV radiation and the ways to protect the skin from UV exposure, in order to decrease the incidence of skin cancer in Canada. During National Sun Awareness Week, June 3 - 9, 2013, dermatologists will volunteer at free public skin cancer screenings and other community events. For more information, please visit www.dermatology.ca.

About CDA
The Canadian Dermatology Association, founded in 1925, represents Canadian dermatologists. The association strives to provide 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 www.dermatology.ca or join the conversation on www.Twitter.com/CdnDermatology or www.Facebook.com/CdnDermatology.

SOURCE: Canadian Dermatology Association

For further information:

Jennifer Scott, Director of Communications
Cell: 613-447-8611  |  jscott@dermatology.ca

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