National Sun Awareness Week 2021

Monday, May 3 to Sunday, May 9, 2021 marks National Sun Awareness Week. The week will kick off with recognizing Melanoma Monday on May 3rd and during the week CDA will share information about public opinion research, myths, facts and trends in sun exposure and sun protection attitudes.

Look for CDA on social media – Activities for the Month of May!
CDA will also extend its virtual activities by sharing lots of information through its various social media channels. Join us to get the facts and more in our online communities of Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube – throughout the month of May.

Please direct all media inquiries and interview requests to media@dermatology.ca.

Join our online Community today! Find and Follow Canadian Dermatology Association here:
Instagram , Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube.

Monday, May 31

Sun Safety for Every Day and Every Body

Sun Safety Every Day 

Sun safety isn’t just a consideration for when it is hot outside. Using SPF 30+ sunscreen, wearing protective clothing and seeking shade are things you want do year-round when engaging in any outdoor activities.

Sun Safety for Every Body 

Skin cancer does not care what gender you are or what the colour of your skin is. Everyone is susceptible to the effects of UV radiation from the sun. Everyone should be practicing sun safety to prevent skin cancer.

More Information

Get more sun safety tips for everyday use

Read the CDA Statement on Diversity & Inclusion

Sunday, May 30

Up Your Game With Sun Protection

Game Officials

Most games you spend more time on the field than the players, so remember you to need proper sun protection. Sunscreen, hats and sunglasses are a must! Apply sunscreen as you’re getting ready, approximately 15-20 minutes before heading outside. The tops of the ears and neck are often overlooked and become very tender when sunburnt – be thorough when you’re putting on your sunscreen.

Spectators 

Remember, you are often out in the sun longer than athletes and through parts of the day when the sun’s rays are at their strongest (11 to 3 pm) making sun protection even more important.

Plan for a day outside:

  • Apply and reapply an SPF 30 or higher sunscreen when watching the game.
  • Wear clothing that covers as much of your skin as possible, shirts with collars will help to protect your neck, and
  • Choose a wide brimmed hat and 100% UV protection sunglasses.

When you want expert advice on skin, hair, and nail issues – see a certified dermatologist.

More Information

Free downloadable Sun Safety Tip Sheets

Saturday, May 29

How Much Sunscreen do I Apply?
Answer: More than you think. 

You should use a generous amount of sunscreen. The average adult requires approximately two to three tablespoons of lotion-formulated sunscreen to cover the whole body, and a teaspoon to cover the face and neck. It should be reapplied in the same amount after vigorous exercise or swimming.

More Information

Tips for Sun Safety for Every Day

Friday, May 28

Mythbusted: Kids have reactions to sunscreens that adults do not. 

Q: Are children more susceptible to developing a reaction to sunscreen?

A: In general, children under the age of two have more sensitive skin, but generally do not have problems with the use of sunscreens. It is important to note that many people can react to preservatives or fragrances contained in many products such as moisturizers, soaps or sunscreens, and this is much more common than reacting to an actual sunscreen filter.

If your child has regular reactions to sunscreen or anything else, consult a certified dermatologist.

More Information

Sunscreen FAQ

Thursday, May 27

Made in Canada: The UV Index was invented by three Environment Canada scientists on this day in 1992!

Environment Canada created the UV Index to publish forecasts of the intensity of ultraviolet radiation from the sun. They hoped Canadians would use this data to avoid sunburns and reduce their risk of skin cancer.

Do you check the UV Index before you go out and take extra precautions if it is high?

Wednesday, May 26

5-Step Skin Cancer Self-Examination

These five easy steps can help you notice changes in moles and other skin issues.

Self-exam step 1:  Using a mirror in a well-lit room, check the front of your body – face, neck, shoulders, arms, chest, abdomen, thighs and lower legs.

Self-exam step 2:  Turn sideways, raise your arms and look carefully at the right and left sides of your body, including the underarm area.

Self-exam step 3:  With a hand-held mirror, check your upper back, neck and scalp. Next, examine your lower back, buttocks, backs of thighs and calves.

Self-exam step 4:  Examine your forearms, palms, back of the hands, fingernails and in between each finger.

Self-exam step 5:  Finally, check your feet – the tops, soles, toenails, toes and spaces in between.

If you notice any changes, see your doctor right away for a referral to a certified dermatologist.

More Information:

Malignant Melanoma

Tuesday, May 25

All patients, including those on treatment for a skin condition, SHOULD RECEIVE A COVID-19 VACCINE unless they have severe allergic reactions to one or more vaccine ingredients.  

If you’re still concerned, check out these facts: 

  • There are no safety concerns associated with the vaccination of patients on systemic (oral or injectable) treatments. 
  • Since the COVID-19 vaccine is not a live vaccine, it is safe for patients on medications that modify the immune system. 
  • The benefits of the vaccine far outweigh the risks of the vaccine. 

Monday, May 24

1-2-3 Sun Safety: Sunscreen, Sun-Protective Clothing, & Sunglasses

Sunscreen on its own isn’t enough to protect you from the sun. Clothing and sunglasses are equally important to protecting your skin from sun damage. When choosing sunglasses, choose glasses which have UV protection. With clothes, consider the “Hole Effect”; the tighter the weave, the better the protection. If you spend lots of time in the sun, for work or for fun, consider purchasing UV-protective clothing with a Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) rating of 40-50.

More Information:

Find out more about what you can do to protect yourself and your family from UV rays.

Saturday, May 22

MYTHBUSTED: FACT: Estheticians do not get the same training as dermatologists.

In Canada, the title ‘certified dermatologist’ is reserved for medical specialists who have earned a medical degree and have completed an intensive five-year program of advanced medical and surgical training in the prevention, recognition and treatment of diseases of the skin, hair, and nails.

How to become a dermatologist:

  1. Complete 4-yr program and pass Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) then Pass 4-yr Medical School (earn MD)
  2. After Medical School: Get accepted and receive 5yrs of advanced medical & surgical training during dermatology residency program
  3. Following residency pass series of medical examinations to earn Specialist Certificate in Dermatology.
  4. Post certification complete a mandatory Maintenance of Certification Program regulated by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

When you want expert advice on skin, hair, and nail issues – see a certified dermatologist.

More Information:

What is a dermatologist?

Friday, May 21

CDA Shade Structure Grant Program Recipient – Back Bay Elementary Home and School Association, NB

“Thanks to the Canadian Dermatology Association, this 10×14 ft. shade structure will be able to provide much needed shade for students, families, and other community members in Back Bay to enjoy outdoor activities all year long. Normally, the playground is void of any shade during the day. This shade structure will be a welcome addition to the playground, providing shelter from the sun to the people of Back Bay and surrounding communities. The kids are pretty excited and understand how much we need it.”

More Information:

Shade Structure Grant Program

Thursday, May 20

CDA Shade Structure Grant Program Recipient – Delson, Quebec

“We estimate that the Centennial Park will attract the population of the surrounding municipalities, which number more than 75,000 people. The diversity of the offer and the location of the place makes it a unique green infrastructure for the region.”  Ville de Delson | Delson, Quebec

More Information:

Shade Structure Grant Program

Wednesday, May 19

DID YOU KNOW? About 65% of melanoma cases are due to UV radiation*?

By being sun safe you will reduce your risk of skin cancer. Most skin cancers can be cured if caught early. Check your skin regularly. Notice any changes, see your doctor or certified dermatologist. (*Canadian Cancer Society).

Take extra care to protect your skin when the UV Index reaches 3 (moderate) or more. If possible, reduce your time spent in the sun between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. – when the sun’s rays are at their strongest – or any time of the day when the UV Index is 3 or more (check your weather app for your daily UV Index number.)

By being sun safe, you will reduce your risk of skin cancer. Most skin cancers can be cured if caught early. Check your skin regularly. Notice any changes? See your doctor or certified dermatologist.

More Information:

UV rays increase your risk of skin cancer

Tuesday, May 18

How do you know if you have a Severe Sunburn? When should you see a certified dermatologist?

See a doctor and get a referral to a certified dermatologist immediately for a severe sunburn or if you see some of these signs:

  • blisters that break open or fill with murky fluid
  • fever
  • headaches
  • nausea or vomiting
  • dizziness
  • severe pain not managed with painkillers
  • swelling or area seems infected

If you have any of these signs, see a certified dermatologist right away. To find a certified dermatologist in your area use the CDA Find-a-Dermatologist tool.

More Information:

Find a Dermatologist

Monday, May 17

How to Spot Skin Cancer:  Know Your A-B-C-D-Es of Melanoma.

Asymmetry

Border

Colour

Diameter

Evolution

Use the A-B-C-D-E’s of melanoma to check your skin monthly. Watch this video about how to spot skin cancer and learn the A-B-C-D-Es of melanoma. Know what to look for and if you notice any changes in your skin or moles, see a certified dermatologist. (You can contact your doctor for a referral to a certified dermatologist.)

More Information:

https://www.melanomanetwork.ca/3ways/

Sunday, May 16

WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO BECOME A CERTIFIED DERMATOLOGIST?

How to become a dermatologist:

  1. Complete 4-yr program and pass Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) then Pass 4-yr Medical School (earn MD)
  2. After Medical School: Get accepted and receive 5yrs of advanced medical & surgical training during dermatology residency program
  3. Following residency pass series of medical examinations to earn Specialist Certificate in Dermatology.
  4. Post certification complete a mandatory Maintenance of Certification Program regulated by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

Look for FRCPC for the dermatology speciality designation. See a certified dermatologist when you want expert advice on skin, hair and nail issues.

More Information:

What is a dermatologist?

Saturday, May 15

How to Prevent Sunburns

Avoid exposure to UV radiation. You can still be exposed in cool or overcast weather. Stay shaded, out of direct sunlight when the sun is at its strongest, between 11am – 3pm. Sun Safety includes checking UV levels (UV Index) in your weather app – when UV index is 3 and above skin damage may occur. So take action, use sun protection. skin cancer detected at a more advanced stage with outcomes tending to be more serious. If you get a severe sunburn, get a referral from your doctor to see a certified dermatologist.

More Information:

Check out the CDA’s Find a Dermatologist Tool

Friday, May 14

FACT: Intentional Sun Exposure to get Vitamin D is not needed

The sun is not a safe source for vitamin D. You can get your Vitamin D safely and easily from foods like dairy products, fatty fish, fortified foods, and supplements.

Across most of Canada, we often receive enough solar UV from incidental exposure throughout the day. Sunlight contains two forms of radiant energy, ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB). UVB does provide the energy your skin needs to make Vitamin D but that energy can burn the skin and increase the cell damage that leads to cancer.

Why does your body need vitamin D? Your body needs to absorb calcium to keep your bones and muscles-including your heart-healthy and strong. Unlike other vitamins, your body can actually make Vitamin D when exposed to sunlight is needed for healthy bones and muscles. Without it, the body cannot absorb the calcium it ingests, so it takes calcium from bones, increasing risk of osteoporosis and fractures.  Your skin produces Vitamin D when exposed to sunlight. Factors like where you live, season, time of day, cloud cover, pollution, sunscreen use, time spent outdoors, amount of skin exposed to sunlight, diet, age, and skin colour can reduce how much Vitamin D your body makes. For most people, only a few minutes in the sun is enough. Vitamin D also helps maintain normal blood levels of phosphorus, another bone-building mineral. Taking foods high in vitamin D or supplements is safer than sun exposure.

Thursday, May 13

MYTH BUSTER

FACT:  Tanning is never safe! Want to get a tan? Try a sunless tanning product. Artificial tanning is not as safe as you think!

It is especially dangerous because UV rays from sunbeds can be up to 10-15 times higher than that of the midday sun.

More Information:

Indoor Tanning is Out

Wednesday, May 12

MYTH BUSTED  Are homemade sunscreens safe and effective?

FACT:  No. Sunscreens are regulated by Health Canada and tested to be sure the active ingredients are safe, effective, and meet the manufacturer’s SPF claims. According to Consumer Reports, sometimes even highly regulated and rigorous tested commercial sunscreens fail to meet their SPF claims.

More Information:

Get the best sun protection

Tuesday, May 11

Sun Safety for Outdoor Workers

Six Simple Steps to Protect Your Skin and Eyes From the Sun

  1. Cover up: wear loose clothing, long sleeves and pants.
  2. Protect your eyes: use UV protective eyewear.
  3. Cover your head, neck, ears: wear a wide brimmed hat, hard hat with a brim & use a neck flap.
  4. Take your breaks in the shade: get out of the sun when you can, especially between 11am-3pm, when UV radiation is the strongest.
  5. Use sunscreen and lip balm: use at least an SPF 30 broad spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen, don’t forget to reapply.
  6. Be skin safe: report changes in skin spots & moles to your doctor or get referred to a certified dermatologist ASAP: early detection is important.

Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation can cause skin cancer, sunburn, skin damage, cataracts, and other conditions. Outdoor workers are at risk.

More Information:

Outdoor Worker Sun Safety Information

Use the CDA tool to quickly find a certified dermatologist in your area.

Monday, May 10

Sunscreen is just the starting point.

Get more sun safe and minimize the risk of developing skin cancer:

  • Limit your exposure to sunlight during peak hours (11 am -3 pm).
  • Seek shade.
  • Wear “cover-up” clothing such as wide-brimmed hats, and sunglasses with UV protection.
  • Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
More Information:

Sun Safety Everyday Poster

CDA printable resources

Sunday, May 9

Who needs to use sunscreen? Every body. People of all skin colours can get skin cancer.

Every age, gender and race. It is recommended to use sunscreen for every skin tone to help prevent skin cancer and to protect you from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays. Short term: sun damage can contribute to the development of hyperpigmentation, dark spots, and acne.

People of all skin tones, including brown and black skin get skin cancer. Found early, skin cancer, including melanoma, can be cured. Find out more and how you can reduce your risk of getting skin cancer. If you detect any changes to your moles or skin, contact your doctor for a referral to a certified dermatologist.

More Information:

Learn more about skin cancer in people of colour

Saturday, May 8

Test Your Sun Safety Knowledge – Take the Sun Savvy Quiz!

CDA supports sunscreen use as an effective and safe means to provide protection from the sun’s harmful rays. There is strong scientific evidence of the adverse effects of UV exposure in contrast to the hypothetical negative effects of sunscreen on your health.

Seeking shade, wearing protective clothing and using a broad spectrum sunscreen all help in providing safe sun protection.

More Information:

Take the Sun Savvy Quiz by the Canadian Cancer Society

Friday, May 7

CDA Mythbusters

Will going out in the sun prevent COVID-19?

FACT: “There is no evidence that sunlight kills the new coronavirus.” – WHO (World Health Organization).

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect the daily lives of Canadians. Sunlight does contain UV light but it is mostly UVA and UVB light – these are less effective at killing SAR-CoV-2.

UVC light, mostly absorbed in the Earth’s ozone, is the UV type most effective at killing germs and used to disinfect surfaces, air and liquid.

More Information:

Read the WHO’s Rumours and Facts on Covid-19.

Read CDA facts and updates about the ‘New Normal’ for dermatology patients

Thursday, May 6

What is the Difference between Chemical and Mineral Sunscreens?

All approved sunscreens contain active ingredients called ‘filters’ that absorb part of the UV radiation produced by the sun. Organic filters used in ‘chemical’ sunscreens absorb UV radiation. Inorganic filters used in ‘mineral’ (or ‘physical’) sunscreens attenuate UV mainly by absorption but also by some scattering of light (e.g. zinc oxide, titanium dioxide).

In the video, Certified dermatologist Dr Jennifer Beecker discusses the differences between chemical and mineral sunscreens.

More Information:

Read CDA’s Sunscreen 101 Fact Sheet

Wednesday, May 5

How to Choose a Sunscreen

So many sunscreen options – how do you choose the best one?

What to consider when selecting a sunscreen:
1.  Broad-spectrum: This protects against both UVA and UVB radiation
2.  Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 30 or higher
3.  Hypoallergenic & non-comedogenic: formulation is less likely to cause an adverse reaction
and it won’t clog your pores
4.  Water-resistant or sweat-resistant

In addition to protecting your skin from the sun, remember to protect your lips. Apply a lip balm with a minimum SPF of 30 to ensure that your lips are properly protected. Follow the link in our bio to download our free sun safety resources for more great tips on how to protect yourself from the sun. When in doubt, look for the Canadian Dermatology Association’s Sun Protection Program logo.

More Information:

Check out more info here!

Tuesday, May 4

Fast Facts: What Is the UV Index?

UV Index measures the strength of the sun’s UV rays that reach the earth’s surface. It’s ranked on a scale from 0 to 11-plus, 0 being lowest, 11-plus being the most extreme. In Canada between April – Sept, the UV Index can be 3 or more, even when cloudy. Know your numbers, plan ahead: check your daily UV index on your weather app.

The daily UV Index forecast is a prediction of the maximum UV strength for the day. This peak is usually reached in the early afternoon. Predictions are made by a computer model that accounts for the effects of Sun elevation and distance, stratospheric ozone, cloud conditions, air pollutants, and ground altitude, all of which influence the amount of UV radiation at the surface. Taking measures to protect yourself and your family from the sun will help to prevent the long term consequences of too much sun, such as skin cancer, premature aging of the skin and short-term effects, such as sunburns.

More Information:

Check out more info here!

Monday, May 3

Sun Safety is for Every Day and Every Body

Sun protection is important every day regardless of weather or time of year AND anyone can get skin cancer (melanoma) and sun damage to their skin (wrinkles, age spots).

Regardless of skin type or colour, UV exposure increases your risk of cancer. While more common in fairer skin people, those with darker skin tones may often have skin cancer detected at a more advanced stage with outcomes tending to be more serious. If you are concerned about skin (or hair/nail) issues be sure to see a certified dermatologist.

More Information:

Check out the CDA’s Find a Dermatologist Tool!