I'm a doctor and here's the vital health check all Brits should be doing as summer ends | The Sun

FOR some people, summer is their favourite season.

Endless trips to the beach, parks and pubs, all add to the joys of sunshine.

But as temperatures start to fall at the end of August many people forget the amount of sun they've been exposed to.

Brits recently dealt with high temperatures, with the Met Office saying some areas had hit 36C.

One expert said that many people may have had too much sun exposure and is therefore urging everyone to take on vital end of summer skin health checks.

Speaking to The Sun, Dr Ross Perry of skin clinics chain Cosmedics said everyone should be having a look at their moles following weeks or months of sun exposure.

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The guru warned that around 70 per cent of the deadliest skin cancer, melanoma, are detected through a new mole.

He explained that due to the high sun exposure this summer, many people may have noticed they have more of a tan and that they are a little more freckly than usual.

Dr Perry said that even if you haven't been burnt and you've been wearing SPF, regular checks are still key.

"And most importantly if you are noticing any changes or anything new then go and get checked immediately," he said.

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Even though the topic of skin cancer is mainly discussed during the summer months, Dr Perry said it's also important to be vigilant as the seasons change.

Skin cancer is a year round problem, and for melanoma Dr Perry highlighted that this can often be related to other factors such as family history, your skin type and if you have lots of moles.

He added: "It's not always directly related to the amount of sun you have been exposed to.

"So its very important to keep checking your moles every two to three months throughout the year to check for any abnormal, new or changing moles."

Skin cancer often occurs in two forms, Dr Perry explained.


"You have the melanoma type of skin cancer which is often the most worrying and the one that has the highest risk of spreading to other parts of the body.

"This can occur mainly at an adult age and can often be related to family history, a large number of moles, fairer skin types, to a degree the amount of sun exposure you have had particularly any blistering sunburn.

"But sadly it can also just be a case of bad luck for some people," he said.

Therefore it's key that whatever skin type or however low you feel your risk profile to be- to always check your skin.

What are the signs?

Most experts recommend using the simple “ABCDE” rule to look for symptoms of melanoma skin cancer, which can appear anywhere on the body.

  • Asymmetrical – melanomas usually have two very different halves and are an irregular shape
  • Border – melanomas usually have a notched or ragged border
  • Colours – melanomas will usually be a mix of two or more colours
  • Diameter – most melanomas are usually larger than 6mm in diameter
  • Enlargement or elevation – a mole that changes size over time is more likely to be a melanoma

The expert added that this goes for all of your skin, including the soles of your feet, the back of your legs and areas where you might not have sun exposure.

This is because melanoma can occur on any part of your skin, at any stage throughout your adult life.

You must check everywhere every couple of months and monitor any moles that change shape, size or colour.


The second type of skin cancer, in non melanoma.

This is directly related to sun exposure and it typically occurs in our 50s, 60s, 70s and as we get older.

"However this is a less aggressive form of skin cancer and is not so much of a mole but is more of a red patch or lump in the skin that can often be painful, itch or bleed," he added.

What are the signs?

The first sign of non-melanoma skin cancer is usually the appearance of a lump or discoloured patch on the skin, the NHS says.

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It persists after a few weeks and slowly progresses over months or sometimes years.

In most cases, cancerous lumps are red and firm and sometimes turn into ulcers. Cancerous patches are usually flat and scaly.

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