How to Protect Your Skin From the Sun in Dubai |

How to Protect Your Skin From the Sun in Dubai

Medcare doctor warns against rise of skin cancer in the UAE – protection and prevention are imperative in the fight against malignancies

Posted on

9 April 2019

Last updated on 10 April 2019
How to Protect Your Skin From the Sun in Dubai

In the UAE, skin cancer represents one of the most common malignancies.

Though it’s not entirely clear what the reason is for the increased incidence locally, it may be due to increased sun exposure and harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays. The annual rates of all forms of skin cancer are increasing each year, representing a growing concern.

One in every three cancers diagnosed globally is skin cancer, which is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal skin cells. It occurs when unrepaired DNA damage to skin cells triggers mutations, or genetic defects, that lead the skin cells to multiply rapidly and form malignant tumors.

The most common warning sign of skin cancer is a change in the appearance of the skin, such as a new growth or a sore that will not heal. Unexplained changes in the appearance of the skin lasting longer than two weeks should be immediately evaluated.

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Check whether the following features are evolving:

  • Asymmetrical shape: Melanoma lesions can be identified by their shape. If a mole is asymmetrical it should be examined by a healthcare professional
  • Border/bleeding: Moles with irregular borders or that bleed should be checked by a healthcare professional
  • Colour: If the mole is not one uniform colour then it could be a warning sign of melanoma
  • Diameter: Most melanoma lesions are equal to or greater than 6 mm in diameter
  • Evolution: All moles should be evaluated and checked regularly

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The risk of skin cancer depends on the skin type

There are six skin types with type one classified as the fairest skin that always burns, but never tans, and type six as dark or black skin that never burns, but always tans. In the UAE, we see all skin types so skin cancers are not uncommon, but the incidence of skin cancer may be higher among those with fair skin.

The World Health Organization (WHO) says some individual risk factors for skin cancer include fair skin, blue, green or hazel eyes, light-colored hair, tendency to burn rather than suntan, history of severe sunburns, many moles, freckles and a family history of skin cancer.

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When in the sun, take proper precautions to protect your skin from harmful UV rays:

  • Wear long sleeves: Cover up as much as possible so he harmful rays do not reach your skin
  • Stay in the shade: Avoid going out inn the sun between 10 am and 4 pm as that is when the sun rays are strongest
  • Never forget sunscreen: Apply plenty of sunscreen 20 minutes before going out in the sun, then regularly re-apply sunscreen throughout the day and straight after swimming. Try and use a sun cream with an SPF of 30 or higher

Early diagnosis increases survival rates. At Medcare, we highly urge individuals to conduct skin cancer screening regularly. The process is a visual inspection of the skin without any blood work included. Self-exams for melanomas should be carried out regularly.

Dr. Heba Abdallah, Specialist Dermatologist, Medcare Medical Centre Jumeirah

Dr. Heba Abdallah
Specialist Dermatologist
Medcare Medical Centre Jumeirah