I'm a dermatologist – top tips for staying safe in the sun…even the type of clothing you wear can make a big difference | The Sun

A DERMATOLOGIST has given her top tips for staying safe in the sun including what type of clothing you should wear.

Brits are set to soak in 22C sunshine this weekend as clear skies are expected to last for days.

Met forecasters are predicting highs in the early 20Cs across the UK, with peaks of 22C in London, Southampton and Glasgow today.

But dermatologists have warned those basking in the sun to enjoy the pleasant conditions safely over skin cancer concerns.

Experts have warned that almost nine in 10 cases of melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer, could be prevented by staying safe in the sun.

And Cancer Research UK says rates of skin cancer have more than doubled since the 1990s.

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That's why Elizabeth Blakeway-Manning, a consultant dermatologist in Yorkshire and the Melanoma Fund's medical ambassador, has shared her best ways to protect your health and get a good tan.

Clothing is key

Dr Blakeway-Manning says that your first line of defence against the sun should be clothing as it absorbs or blocks harmful UV rays which can prevent skin cancer.

But as the day heats up, this becomes difficult as it's a "natural impulse to remove clothing" the experts told MailOnline.

That's why Dr Blakeway-Manning also recommends always wearing a hat – such as one with a wide brim.

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This is because your forehead, scalp and ears are particularly vulnerable. 

Check your sunscreen date

Slapping on sunscreen is something most of us know is a necessity when basking in the hot weather.

Melanoma UK recommends Brits wear sunscreen everyday, and says you should use at least factor 30.

But one in 10 Brits say they rarely use SPF while one in 20 say they never do so despite advice to apply it every day, according to a survey.

And a lot of Brits also don't know that most sunscreens have a three-year shelf life.

The more the bottle is opened and closed, the more likely it is that germs will contaminate the bottle and cause the quality to degrade.

That's why its recommended you write the first date of use on the bottle to remind yourself how long it has been open for.

Re-apply sunscreen

Many sun-seekers may do the right thing and apply sunscreen in the morning, but will completely forget to re-apply as the day goes on.

The experts say reapplication of all types of sunscreens is recommended every two hours, even for once-a-day formulas. 

Dermatologists claim this is because no matter how carefully you apply, parts of the body will likely be missed.

This could leave particular areas of skin vulnerable for the whole day. 

Meanwhile perspiration, water and wiping off dirt can all remove even the strongest sunscreens.

Be wary of rays

Many Brits get a sunburn from being caught out by the weather, the experts said. 

Often, you can start an activity in the early morning when the weather is mild, but it then turns into a hot day which could cause sunburn.

The experts also warned Brits that it's possible to get a sunburn on overcast days with clouds not protecting against UV rays.

Just five sunburns in your lifetime double the risk of skin cancer, according to research in British Journal Dermatology.

Shade protects

Dr Blakeway-Manning says that hopping in the shade for a while is a good way to give your skin a break from powerful UV rays.

Along with clothing, shade is the best UV protection, says the expert.

From March to October, NHS guidelines suggest spending some time in the shade from 11am to 3pm and make sure you never sunburn.

If shade is hard to come by, it is recommended to use temporary structures such as gazebos, sails, or sports umbrellas. 

Light fabrics

Dr Blakeway-Manning advises sun-seekers to wear light clothes that have a tight weave.

These offer the best protection as a tight weave leaves very few holes in between — preventing rays from filtering through. 

The dermatologist said: "You can test suitability by holding the fabric up to the sun. 

"If none or minimal light filters through, you’re sorted."

Don't use sunbeds

The expert also warns against the risk of sunbeds to get a tan.

Although popular, sunbeds give out UV light which in some doses are even stronger than midday tropical sun.

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This can increase the risk of developing skin cancer with signs of skin damage not always obvious for up to 20 years.

Dr Blakeway-Manning stresses that if you wish to tan safely, "fake it and never use sunbeds".

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