Skin cancer is relatively common. In Switzerland, over 2,000 people are diagnosed with skin cancer every year. Most skin cancer is caused by ultraviolet rays from exposure to sunlight. Many people underestimate the harmful effects of sunlight on the skin: a suntan can come at a high personal cost. To protect your skin, you will need to limit your sunbathing and always use sunscreen. If you have sensitive skin, you should see your GP for regular checkups.
The sun's rays have positive effects on people: They encourage metabolic processes, lift your mood and help you relax. If, though, you expose yourself to the sun too much, its ultra-violet rays can be damaging in both the short and long term. Today, more and more people are suffering from skin problems brought on by sunlight. Between 50 and 70 percent of skin cancer cases result from exposure to too much sun. Sunlight can cause harm even without sunburn occurring, and this is why we tend to underestimate the sun's potency. Sun creams with a high UVA and UVB protection factor are absolutely essential, as is clothing that protects against ultra-violet rays.
There are different types of skin cancer that can manifest themselves in various forms and to varying degrees of severity. Black melanoma is a particularly dangerous variety of skin cancer.
People at higher risk of skin cancer should have their skin examined by a specialist every one or two years.
Avoid exposure to the sun when it's at its strongest.
Keep children out of direct sunlight as much as possible: 80% of skin damage caused by the sun occurs before the age of 18. Sunglasses, a hat and shirt are the best protection, especially for a child's sensitive skin.
Use sun cream with a very high protection factor (50+) to protect yourself against UVB and UVA rays, remember to re-apply it every two hours, and wear sunglasses and a hat. Further Information on Sun Protection (PDF, 239KB) (in German).
Although modern sun protection products work instantly, you need to apply them before sunbathing. If you find a mole that has changed in a way that causes you concern, ask a dermatologist about it.
To spot melanoma, it's absolutely vital to examine yourself regularly.
The ABCD method (PDF, 264KB) (in German) will help you to systematically check the appearance of your moles and any changes in them: