Health Unit: Check and Protect Against Skin Cancer

May 27, 2015

Huron County, ON – The first week of June is Sun Awareness Week. With summer around the corner, the Health Unit reminds residents to be safe in the sun.

“We all enjoy being outdoors, but too much UV radiation can result in skin cancer,” says Dr. Janice Owen, Huron County Medical Officer of Health (A). “It’s important to protect yourself against too much sun and to check your skin for any concerning changes.”

Follow these guidelines to be sun-safe:

  • Limit your time in the sun, especially between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. or when the UV index is three or greater.
  • Protect babies and children from the sun. A child’s skin is more sensitive and thinner than an adult’s, so they burn more easily.
  • Stay in the shade. Shade can reduce your UV exposure by 50 per cent or more. Do outdoor activities under a tree, umbrella, or in the shade of a building.
  • Wear sun-protective clothing, including long-sleeved shirts and pants, and a wide-brimmed hat.
  • Wear sunglasses with UVA and UVB protection, or UV 400 protection to help prevent damage to your eyes. Use lip balm with SPF 30 or greater.
  • Use sunscreen that has UVA and UVB protection (broad-spectrum) with SPF 30 or greater. Apply 20 minutes prior to going outside and then every two hours or sooner if swimming, drying off or sweating.
  • Combination skin moisturizer and insect repellent products are not approved by Health Canada. Separate sunscreen and personal insect repellents can be used safely at the same time. Follow instructions on the package for how to apply each product. Apply sunscreen first, then insect repellent.
  • Do not burn or tan – it only takes one blistering sunburn to double the chance of developing melanoma!

Melanoma, a type of skin cancer, can be treated successfully if caught early. Melanoma can appear as a new mole or coloured spot, or develop in an existing mole. Check your skin head-to-toe once a month using the ABCDE rule for moles:

  • Asymmetry – one side appears different than the other
  • Border – irregular or jagged
  • Colour – changes colour, or varying colours within the spot, or an unusual colour
  • Diameter – greater than 6mm, but may be less
  • Evolution – changes shape, colour, or size, or if it feels different (e.g. itchy, tender, bleeding)

For more information on sun safety and UV radiation, visit


For more information contact:

Our media contact is: Rita Marshall, Communications Coordinator, Huron County Health Unit, 519.482.3416 or toll-free 1.877.837.6143 ext. 2023 or

Our spokesperson is: Dr. Janice Owen, Medical Officer of Health (A). Our media contact will connect you to our spokesperson on this topic.


For more information contact:

Susan Cronin, County Clerk
519.524.8394 (ext 3257)