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Body

What you need to know about sun-kissed skin

Find out why your skin needs sun protection this summer.

According to a survey* only 24 percent of us use sunscreen fastidiously, while a worrying 22 percent don't bother with sun protection at all.

Skin cancer is the second most common form of cancer among 15 to 34-year-olds. In this age group alone, two malignant melanomas are diagnosed every day here in the UK. This is the most serious type of skin cancer and, across the population as a whole, accounts for one in ten of the 100,000 new cases of skin cancer each year.

So skin cancer may be on the increase, but there's some good news, too. It's also one of the most preventable cancers. Just make sure you cover up with long sleeves and hats, use the right sunscreen and seek out some shade when the sun is at its strongest (11am to 3pm).

Covering an area of two square metres, the skin is the body's largest organ and deserves some TLC. Visit the British Skin Foundation's website for the low-down on skin cancer and sensible ways to protect yourself and your family this summer.

* Online poll conducted by http://www.patient.co.uk/ in April 2013 (1,130 participants).

Suggested reading

Skin cancer: how to check your moles

Vitamin D: the sunshine vitamin