Health & Wellness
by Aspect County

Benenden Hospital: Helping you to be sun safe

The balmy days of spring have finally arrived, and with them our collective sigh of relief at the chance to spend more time outdoors, soaking up the sun and a daily dose of Vitamin D. 6 – 12 May was Sun Awareness Week, the British Association of Dermatologists’ annual campaign to raise awareness of the importance of sun protection, tackling misconceptions that it’s rarely needed in the UK’s temperate maritime climate.

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Overexposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation is the main preventable cause of skin cancer, the most common form of cancer in the UK. Rates have risen steadily since the 1970s and at least 100,000 new cases are now diagnosed each year.

There are numerous ways to reduce your chances of developing skin cancer. Daily use of a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) 30 or above sun cream is recommended. Regularly check your skin for signs of skin cancer, ideally once a month, looking for new lumps, scaly patches or moles that have changed shape, colour or texture. Seek shade, cover up and wear sunglasses. Early detection is the best step in the prevention of serious skin cancers, which is why it is best to get any suspicious moles screened by a dermatologist as soon as possible. 

Benenden Hospital, near Cranbrook, offers a fast mole scanning service for anyone aged 18 and over, which provides an assessment of any moles or pigmented lesions you may be worried about and is accessible via a self-pay pathway. This consultation only lasts approximately 20 minutes, and a consultant report is sent to patients within one week. If there is any cause for concern, the hospital’s dedicated team of Consultant Dermatologists or clinical Outpatient team can discuss the next steps.