Jessie Leach and her son Archie Walker meet a SunSafe consultant.
Jessie Leach and her son Archie Walker meet a SunSafe consultant. Contributed

Playing it safe in the sun

MOST Coffs Harbour residents are protecting themselves from the sun's harmful rays but complacency can be lethal.

That's the key message from a visit to our city by the SunSense UV Photobus, which had free skincare consultations for locals as part of a national community health check program.

The average SunSensibility score for Coffs Harbour residents was 52 out of a possible 100 points.

"This score reveals that as a community Coffs Harbour seems to have good sun safety awareness and practises healthy skin protection habits," said Dr Kerryn Greive from Ego Pharmaceuticals.

"The Australian sun is among the harshest in the world and as a result more than 430,000 Australians are treated for skin cancer each year - that's more than 1000 people every day - so it's imperative we take extra care as a nation all year round.

"My advice to Coffs Harbour residents is to ensure wearing sunscreen is part of their daily routine.

"Sunburn can occur in as little as 10 minutes, so don't forget to reapply (protection) regularly, and you're on your way to healthier skin."

Locals were encouraged to have their face photographed using UV camera technology revealing their skin's hidden UV damage before receiving advice from a SunSense skincare consultant on sun protection options to better fight the sun's harmful rays and help prevent skin cancer.

Local supporters, including Deputy Mayor Denise Knight, visited the UV Photobus to have their skin analysed by the consultants.

"We live in a fairly harsh climate in this country, and all too often we forget just how susceptible our skin can be to sun damage," Cr Knight said.

"I enjoyed visiting the SunSense UV Photobus and facing up to my hidden UV skin damage - it really hit home just how important it is to protect oneself from the sun's rays."

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