Risk of skin cancer from sun: Any place without shade is “a dangerous place”

Risk of skin cancer from sun: Any place without shade is “a dangerous place”
Photo: Gian Ehrenzeller/KEYSTONE/dpa

Exposure to the sun increases the risk of developing skin cancer. This increases even without sunburn, according to dermatologist Dirk Tomsitz. What measures the doctor therefore advises.

According to senior physician Dirk Tomsitz at the Munich Clinic, the danger emanating from the sun lurks in cities, in parks and outdoor pools. In an interview with the Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ), he uses the example of the city of Munich to explain where the risk lies. “There are few high buildings here, but we have a lot of open spaces like the Isar and the English Garden, so many areas that are very sun-exposed”.

Even in swimming pools there are sometimes only grass areas without trees that provide shade. According to the dermatologist, that is exactly what is needed: shade. According to him, it would make sense to set up umbrellas or awnings. “Any place where there is no shade is a dangerous place,” warns Tomsitz.

Skin cancer is also possible without sunburn

According to the doctor, UV radiation is dangerous for a number of reasons. It is involved in skin aging and, according to him, various types of skin cancer. The decisive factor is how many sunburns a person has had in their life and how many UV rays someone has been exposed to. He has already seen some patients who, according to their own statements, have never had sunburn in their lives, but still have skin cancer. According to Tomsitz, the reason for this is the UV dose to which these people were exposed. “There is a saying: The skin never forgets. Unfortunately, that’s true,” says the doctor.

That is why there are more and more cases of skin cancer

According to the German Cancer Aid, skin cancer is the most common form of cancer; In Germany, around 304,000 people are diagnosed with skin cancer every year. The number of people affected has been increasing “drastically” for years.

According to dermatologist Tomsitz, people are currently “facing the sun more than they used to”. According to him, a few years ago people only experienced “two or three months in summer” with sun in their home country. In the meantime, however, the time in the sun is increasing because people still undertake long-distance trips into the sun in autumn or winter.

The doctor recommends this UV protection factor

The doctor recommends minimizing time in the sun. “It’s better not to go out at lunchtime,” says Tomsitz. That doesn’t mean that you have to spend the day indoors, but he does suggest doing something outdoors in the shade.

For everyday use, the dermatologist recommends sunscreen with a sun protection factor of 30 or 50. Care creams with integrated UV protection are “better than nothing at all”. In most cases, the protection is less than with a pure sunscreen.

The dermatologist also recommends that commuters who commute half an hour in the morning and evening to use sun protection. “The UV light accumulates over the course of the week, the month, the lifetime to a not insignificant amount,” emphasizes Tomsitz.

Sources used: Süddeutsche Zeitung, German Cancer Aid

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