Skin Cancer

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How to Be UV Aware

Despite our moderate climate, skin cancer is the most common cancer in Northern Ireland.  However, 4 in 5 cases can be prevented. Did you know UV damage to your skin cells can start before your skin tans or burns? Often we don’t realise when our skin is being damaged, so it is important to be UV aware in order to stay safe in the sun.

The UV index is a much more accurate way of determining your risk of skin and eye damage than just relying on the air temperature. Did you know UV levels can be high enough to damage your skin even on cool or overcast days? When it’s 3 or more, we need to protect our skin and eyes.


Click here to find out today's UV level. Be UV aware

Keep track of the daily UV level where you are

The Met Office has a weather app that can help you keep track of the UV levels at your location. 



What do the numbers represent?

The UV index has a scale of 0 – 11+ and was developed by the World Health Organisation. Did you know the UV index value is affected by:

  • The position of the sun in the sky
  • The altitude
  • The time of day and time of year
  • Cloud cover and other weather conditions

In NI the UV index peaks each day between 11am and 3pm. It is 3 or above on many days between March and October and can reach 7 or 8 in mid-summer, higher than you may have thought.

When the UV index is 3 or more you need to protect your skin and eyes. Here’s how.

For more detailed information on the UV index and what it means for us check out this video.