HELLO! magazine visited Dr Ross Perry at Cosmedics Skin Clinics, Harley Street, to find out about safe tanning in the heatwave and learn how to catch the signs of skin cancer early.
Ross encourages people to take care in the sun:
“The main thing is just don’t get burnt. Getting burnt increases the risk of skin cancer and I would probably advocate – however dark skin type they are or however much they think that they’re not going to burn – that they should wear a sun block.”
HELLO! asked about SPF, as the trend nowadays is for much higher factor lotions and creams. Dr Perry explained:
“Everyone has to take their own common sense approach to this. If they know that they’re a good tanner I would still recommend that they go to 30 and above. If they know that they’re fair-skinned and that they’ve tried tanning in the past and it’s been disastrous they end up pink or red and blistered as a result or got dry cracked skin, then they really shouldn’t get any exposure to the sun and factor 50 would be the way to go OR wear a rash vest or a T-shirt so that they really just don’t expose themselves.”
Rash vests were especially recommended for children as a simple way to keep them safe.
Skin Cancer Advice
Dr Ross Perry said that skin cancer is on the rise although deaths from the disease are falling thanks to better awareness. He explained the 2 types of skin cancer, which have different characteristics:
- Melanoma skin cancer – can occur on any part of the body. It does not necessarily come from sun exposure although the sun does increase the risk. Ross says
‘they are classically a dark, black, flat mole. In men the commonest site is on the back, in women the commonest site is on the legs. But these are things that people need to ‘spot’ as opposed to feel or get symptoms from; and so it’s important that people check their bodies for these new or irregular looking moles frequently.’
- Non-melanoma – Ross says this normally occurs in the 50s or 60s and 70s describes this as the classic symptoms
‘…an itchy, bleeding patch of skin that doesn’t heal, comes and goes, can be a bit painful’
Ross goes onto explain:
“Melanoma skin cancer is the more aggressive one, the nasty one, but it is also more of a silent one so that’s the one you need to be vigilant for.”
He suggests regular skin checking, even after the shower or gym, to compare your moles:
“what you’re looking for is what we call the ugly duckling sign, just a funny looking mole, and it would normally be fairly obvious. It would be dark, it would be more irregular, possibly even changing over a period of time, over a period of month… but to most people they would notice it. If you said to someone can you spot an abnormal looking mole, it would be fairly obvious – but they need to see it – and it can be indiscriminate on any part of the body.”
The key is to look for change and if in doubt, go to the doctor for reassurance, advice or referral as required.
“being aware of it is the single most important factor.”
Ross’s final piece of advice is
“Colour. If it’s black or it’s dark and it just looks different from the other moles, that’s the key, that’s the warning thing. If you’ve got a black mole that stands out, get it checked out. It’s that think we like to say – if in doubt check it out – that’s the take home, that’s it really.”
Dr Ross Perry
Dr Ross Perry regularly provides expert comment and advises the media on a range of skincare and health-related issues.
He has particular expertise in skin surgery mole removal and melanoma; having removed thousands of moles in his career, both within the NHS and privately through Cosmedics Skin Clinics. He has provided expert advice on sun damage and sun protection for a variety of UK media and publications.
You may also be interested in
- Independent: Melanoma and Early Signs of Skin Cancer
- ITV This Morning: The Mole Doctor Will See You Now
Cosmedics Skin Clinics
Cosmedics Skin Clinics was established in 2003 and has built up an excellent reputation for cosmetic and medical treatments, carried out by GMC Registered Doctors. The company offer a full range of cosmetic treatments, including popular lip enhancement and wrinkle relaxing injections, dermal fillers; plus medical treatments including mole removal, thread vein treatment and excessive sweating injections.
Cosmedics Skin Clinics was has a team of skin treatment doctors and surgeons in their 5 skin clinics across London and Bristol led by Dr Ross Perry.
Call 020 7386 0464 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to book an appointment.