An increasing number of young people are being diagnosed with skin cancer, an expert has warned.
Michelle Forsyth, from the skin cancer team at Clifton Hospital, said 60 people were told they had a malignant melanoma across the Fylde coast last year.
The cancer is one of the most common in those aged 15 to 34 and over 80 per cent of skin cancers are caused by over-exposure to the sun and sunbeds.
Michelle has now spoken out ahead of the summer season in the hope her warning will be heeded by sunbathers and parents across the resort.
She said: “It’s very scary when we are seeing so many younger people coming to clinic with worrisome lesions.
“Education and raising awareness is important to try and reduce the numbers of youngsters coming to us year on year. The dangers of using sunbeds is a huge problem, especially with younger people.
We need everyone to be aware they need to protect their skin
“It’s so preventable and often treatable, but early detection remains paramount.
“We need everyone to be aware they need to protect their skin. The dangerous rays are not only responsible for skin cancer, but also premature ageing.
“Your skin is like an elephant – it remembers.
“We’re also treating people who have had years of sun exposure with skin cancers in later life.”
The average adult experiences around 25 per cent of their total lifetime exposure to sun before they are 18, and studies have shown that sunburn in childhood can double the risk of developing cancer in later life.
Those with red or fair hair, pale eyes, or freckles are most at risk, while babies under six months should be kept out of direct sunlight, especially in the middle of the day.
Parents have been urged to keep their children protected from the sun’s rays, as it was revealed more people die from skin cancer in the UK than in Australia.
Michelle is set to hold a charity fundraiser for Skcin, where she has just become an ambassador, at the Ashley Conservative Club, in Victoria Road, Thornton, from 1-6pm on Sunday, May 14.
There will be a bouncy castle, raffle, craft stalls, food, music, and a casino.
Skcin aims to raise awareness of the true dangers of the sun.