Burning desire to be sun-safe

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Hospital chiefs have conscripted Scotland’s immortal bard in a bid to persuade Cumbernauld and Kilsyth holidaymakers to avoid sunburn.

The campaign includes a video featuring Robert Burns – who lived in the days before sun cream – and his more thoughtful alter ego, Robert Disnae Burn.

It’s a humorous way of illustrating the dangers of exposure to the sun, at a time when skin cancer has been identified as the fastest-growing cancer in Scotland.

Jean Grenfell, skin cancer nurse specialist for NHS Lanarkshire, said: “Skin cancer is one of the most common cancers in Scotland and it is mainly caused by UV light from the sun and sun beds.

“Although we don’t get many sunny days in Scotland, it is important to remember that the sun rays are just as strong here as they are in the most popular holiday destinations.

“People don’t always realise that UV rays can travel through clouds, so it is important to take care even on cloudy days.

“It is important to look after yourself and to take particular care when travelling abroad.”

The campaign highlights the simple steps that you can take to stay safe in the sun, in a light hearted way.

Jean added: “Melanoma is sneaky. 50 per cent of the time it’s in a brand new mole that has never been there before. The other 50 per cent of the time it’s a mole that is changing.

“The best thing to do is to check your skin once a month from the top of your head to the soles of your feet.”

The NHS Lanarkshire “Burns” video and its serious message can be viewed at: http://bit.ly/1MVYV