Belfast Telegraph

Play safe when it comes to the sun

By Nuala McKeever

The number of skin cancers in Northern Ireland has shot up by 33% in the past five years.

All those years of sunbathing without sufficient protection are catching up. In the Med last week, I was surprised to see people still turning their skin a very unnatural shade of dark brown. It was like no one ever heard of cancer.

I always say: "Oh I don't tan. I don't try to. I just put on the fake stuff." And that's true. Here.

But you go on holiday and it's easy to be seduced by the fact that everyone around you's doing it.

A dermatologist told me once that any tan is a sign of skin damage.

But that kind of sensible approach just doesn't cut it on the beach when you're surrounded by bodies that look healthy (not the ones that look like a bit of bog oak that's been dug up after centuries and put in a bikini).

As you sit there plastered in Factor Duffle Coat, you feel like you're the boring old auntie telling the fun young things that it'll end in tears.

We have warnings on fag packets. It's time there were warnings on beaches.

Maybe a large poster of someone's melanoma might make us embrace the shade.


From Belfast Telegraph