The Balearic Islands have recorded an increase in the incidence of melanoma, or skin cancer, in recent years. The annual age-specific rate per 100,000 people has increased in both women and men. In the archipelago, a total of 123 cases of skin cancer were diagnosed in 2023, according to data from the Observatory of the Spanish Association Against Cancer in the Islands.

For this reason, the Regional Ministry of Health reminds us of the importance of protecting ourselves from sun exposure and using photoprotectors to prevent the risk of developing cutaneous melanoma.

As 90% of cases of sporadic melanoma are due to sun exposure and only 10% to genetic factors, adequate sun protection can significantly reduce the chances of contracting this type of cancer.

Preventive measures for sun exposure

Public Health reminds, once again, that to reduce the risk of developing skin melanoma, it is essential to avoid sunburns and excessive sun exposure, especially in children and during the peak hours of the day. In addition to protecting the body with appropriate clothing and sunglasses, sunscreen should be used, and tanning beds should not be used. The most important recommendations are as follows:

  • Gradually sunbathe and always avoid the peak intensity hours, from 12:00 to 16:00.
  • Use wide-brimmed hats, sunglasses, and parasols.
  • Use a sunscreen with a high protection factor against both UVA and UVB radiation, depending on skin type. Apply generously to very dry skin all over the body. Reapply regularly, especially after swimming or if sweating a lot.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Avoid sunbathing if taking photosensitive medication.
  • Preferably stay in shaded areas when engaging in outdoor activities.

Consult your doctor

Early diagnosis and regular self-examinations are key to preventing the development of melanoma and other types of skin cancer. A health professional should be consulted if a new lesion appears on the skin that does not heal or if there are changes in the appearance of a freckle (in shape, colour, size, borders, etc.).