Q&A with Tim Lovejoy, Melanoma UK Ambassador
Skin Cancer We spoke to TV presenter Tim Lovejoy about issues surrounding eye health, and his involvement with Melanoma UK.
How did you come to be involved with the charity Melanoma UK?
My grandad died of skin cancer. He was elderly, but he'd been in the desert in the army and, obviously, there was no such thing as sunscreen back then. I'm a child of the Eighties when it was all Wham! and Club Tropicana and sun tans. And we didn't use sunscreens so I spent a lot of my time burning. So I'm very aware of it and I've got three daughters — so I make sure they're aware of it too!
Does more need to be done to raise awareness of malignant melanomas?
I think the awareness is there. I think more needs to be done about the message that it's fashionable to change the colour of your skin. To go and lay out in the sun for hours at an end without any protection is ridiculous. You're born with the colour you are: get on with it.
What are the things that everyone should be aware of in summer?
Your skin is your biggest organ and you should be looking after it. Using sunscreen is important. And I'm not saying: 'Stay out of the sun!' because we need to be outside and we need to live. It's beautiful, it's summer — get outside and enjoy it! Just realise that it's not a good idea to go out in the middle of the day when the sun is at its hottest, put on your speedos or bikini, lie there and fry yourself. I personally think the message is: 'There's no such thing as a healthy tan'. Heavily tanned skin is damaged skin.
Are there other things we should do to guard against melanoma?
Get your moles checked out. I've had three moles removed myself and it's painless. They've all been benign, thankfully. I go every year or two to have my skin checked out, and make sure my moles haven't changed.