29 April 2015
A student-led campaign aimed at encouraging teenagers and young adults to take care in the sun will be launched this summer.
Organised by beauty therapy students at Highlands College, the 'Love the Sun, Respect your Skin' campaign aims to raise awareness about the importance of avoiding over-exposure to UV radiation from both the sun and sunbeds.
One-to-one skin consultations will be offered to students and staff at Highlands – the five-minute sessions will utilise a UV facial scanner, giving those who take part a chance to evaluate their skin type, take note of any existing sun damage and learn techniques to avoid future damage, including how to effectively apply sunscreen and fake tan.
Personalising the message
Public Health Officer, Karen Le Cornu said "For most young people, the risk of developing skin cancer in the future is not something which concerns them. However, they are concerned about their appearance, so helping them to recognise the impact that the sun and sunbeds have in causing premature ageing of the skin is something they can relate to now. Using the UV facial scanners helps to personalise the message.
"Studies also show that young people are more likely to relate to advice when it comes from their peers. The beauty therapy students from Highlands attended a special training session led by Public Health; they are using this knowledge to help pass the sun safety message on to other students, including those who might be at most risk due to their future occupation, such as students studying construction and sports leadership.
"In addition, students are developing communication skills which will help them to discuss this issue with their clients in the future and encourage clients to get suspicious-looking moles checked by their GP."
The incidence of skin cancer is higher in Jersey than in the UK and over 80% of cases are preventable by avoiding over-exposure to UV radiation from sunlight and sunbed usage. Skin cancer is the second most common cancer in people aged 15-34, with around 40 cases of malignant melanoma diagnosed each year in Jersey.