Lunchtime Sunshine - Hold the UV

CALGARY, June 4, 2014 /CNW/ - The Canadian Dermatology Association (CDA) is focused on helping Canadians have a sun safe summer and a big part of that is knowing what ultraviolet (UV) radiation is and understanding how to use Environment Canada's UV Index.

The sun - the source of energy for all life on earth - also emits potentially dangerous rays. These UV rays cause permanent damage to our skin that can lead to inflammation and an alteration of basic skin cell function. A bronzed hue might be the ideal short-term effect, but underlying damage results in skin thinning, sagging, abnormal pigmentation and wrinkles. It can also cause irreparable damage to our DNA, causing abnormal cell function, an inability to heal properly and cell mutations which can result in cancer.

"In order to avoid severe and irreversible tissue damage, we need to use sunscreen every day, wear light-weight tightly woven clothing that covers our skin, and try to avoid peak hours of intense sunlight." says Dr. Mariusz Sapijaszko, an Edmonton dermatologist.

This summer Environment Canada is predicting midday UV index ratings ranging from moderate (3-5) to very high (8-9) across Canada, so proper sun protection is an absolute must, especially during peak hours (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.) or whenever the UV Index is higher than three.

This year estimates indicate there will be approximately 76,100 new cases of skin cancer diagnosed and 6,500 cases of melanoma - the most serious form of skin cancer - which will result in approximately 1,050 deaths. Skin cancer is the most widely diagnosed form of cancer in Canada and worldwide. It is also the only form of cancer that is clearly visible on the skin and one of a small number that is highly preventable.

What does this mean for Alberta? It means an estimated 570 new cases of melanoma being diagnosed in 2014 and 95 preventable deaths; figures which amount to 10 Albertans being diagnosed with melanoma every week!

"One of the best things Canadians can do to protect themselves and their families is to check the UV Index and prepare for the day accordingly," says Sapijaszko, "because nothing can ruin your summer vacation like a painful, blistering sunburn."

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 2 - 8, 2014, dermatologists will volunteer at free public skin cancer screenings and various community events across the country. For more information, please visit

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 or join the conversation on or

SOURCE: Canadian Dermatology Association

For further information:

Jennifer Scott, Director, Communications
Office: 613-738-1748 x 222 | Cell: 613-716-2098

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