South West Wales

'Don't be a lobster' Swansea and Gower sunburn warning

Flag with lobster Image copyright Skin Care Cymru

Signs warning the public "Don't be a lobster" are going up on Welsh beaches in a new campaign to highlight the dangers posed by the sun.

Wales has the highest incidence of skin cancer in the UK, with exposure to the sun's harmful UV rays the main cause.

Swansea Singleton Hospital consultant Avad Mughal had the idea, as a trustee for the charity Skin Care Cymru.

Signs will go up on beaches in Swansea and Gower as Wales is expected to enjoy one of the hottest days of the year.

"While I was on holiday in west Wales last summer I was looking out at people on the beach and realised they were my future workload, so what could I do to make it smaller?" said dermatology consultant, Dr Mughai.

"We have signs telling people not to bring dogs on beaches or to pick up litter, so why not have one reminding them to put on sun block?"

Dr Mughal added that children in particular are at risk because damage to their young skin could lead to them developing cancer later in life.

Image copyright Rhys Evans
Image caption Signs will be going up around Swansea and Gower beaches

Skin Care Cymru, which is dedicated to helping anyone with a skin disease in Wales, is now in talks with other Welsh councils to put up the signs at their beaches too.

The campaign is being backed by Hollywood and Welsh screen star Matthew Sheen and rugby referee Nigel Owens, as well as the Abertawe Bro Morganwg University Health Board.

Health board occupational therapist Janine Evan added: "Last year alone, we treated 10 adults and 17 children for sunburn - and we know there are many more who'll have been seen in A&E or treated by their GP.

"We want to do all we can to help spread this important message and remind people about what they do to avoid getting burnt and the long-term damage it can do."

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