Sun Damage

If you have been sunburnt your risk of skin cancer is greater.

Sun damage can take years to develop and, even if you are careful to protect your skin now, if you have been sunburnt often in the past, particularly when you were a child, you might have an increased risk of developing actinic keratoses  which can be an early indication of sun damage that could lead to  skin cancer . Most of the sun damage is done during Childhood.

The effects of sun damage on your skin and overall health can vary depending on the level of sun exposure you have had, your skin type, your age and a variety of other factors.

Sun damage can lead to cosmetic changes in your skin, such as premature ageing, wrinkles and discolorations. It can also lead to more serious conditions, like skin cancer. 


The more common effects of sun damage include:

A growing problem

Sun damage related skin conditions are a growing problem. Every year there are approximately 8,000 cases of skin cancer reported in Ireland (National Cancer Registry 2011). Long-term damage from sun exposure is the main cause of some skin cancers, so it is important to pay attention to skin changes.

More than moles

Although many people know to check their moles for changes, according to the National Cancer Registry 2011, skin cancers that are not related to moles are over 10 times more common, now accounting for a quarter of cancers reported in Ireland. So Check Your Skin for changes that might be markers for skin cancer. 

Checking your skin regularly means any potential problems are more likely to be found and treated at an early stage. Finding any problems early reduces the risk of a more serious conditions developing.

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