World Skin Health Day is celebrated on October 14, 2022, to recognise and promote skin health worldwide. It is a campaign by the International League of Dermatological Societies (ILDS) and the International Society of Dermatology (ISD) to help raise awareness and treat different skin conditions. In Australia, skin cancer is the top skin disease identified by the Australasian College of Dermatologists as it affects 2 in every 3 Australians and is the cause of death for 2,000 people per year. It is caused primarily by sunburns, as stated by the same college, which may be avoided and treated by following some helpful reminders and first aid tips below. Information on the other common skin diseases in Australia is also discussed to help you identify them and encourage appropriate treatments to celebrate World Skin Health Day.
What is the World Skin Health Day?
World Skin Health Day on October 14, 2022, aims to raise awareness about the different skin diseases and to support people who have them with proper treatment. On this day, involved organisations worldwide will:
- Provide information on appropriate skin care regimens in low-resource settings.
- Provide free skin consultations and treatments.
- Distribute medicines for free.
- Take a national multimedia campaign to raise awareness about skin health.
Further information about these activities and how to get involved is found here.
Who Started World Skin Health Day?
World Skin Health Day is a joined campaign by the following organisations:
- International League of Dermatological Societies (ILDS) – registered charity in England and Wales with ‘official relations’ with the World Health Organization (WHO).
- The International Society of Dermatology (ISD) – is an organisation founded in 1959 that is open for membership to all physicians with an interest in tropical medicine.
These organisations have celebrated World Skin Health Day along with involved groups around the globe since 2013.
Is Australia Involved in World Skin Health Day?
The Australasian College of Dermatologists (ACD) has been celebrating World Skin Health Day since 2018 by:
- Launching an online social media campaign to share patients’ unique experiences and help build a connection between dermatologists and patients.
- Releasing a report about the impact of chronic skin conditions from the patient perspective to help us understand how they are affected psychosocially and what challenges they have to go through.
- Providing a dermatology telehealth appointment where Australians can ask about their skin conditions and treatments to get the best support and care they need.
On October 14, 2022, the ACD will launch new podcasts and social media campaigns to support Australians living with chronic skin, hair, and nail conditions.
Who is the Australasian College of Dermatologists (ACD)?
The ACD is the sole medical college accredited by the Australian Medical Council for dermatologists’ education and professional growth. It is the only specialist medical college in Australia accredited by the Tertiary Education Quality Standards Agency (TEQSA) as a Higher Education Provider. The same college released the list of common skin diseases in Australia, with skin cancer as number 1.
What is the Top Skin Disease in Australia?
According to the ACD, Australia and New Zealand are the top countries for skin cancer incidence. The same college states that it is caused primarily by sunburns which may happen as soon as 15 minutes of being under the sun.
What is Skin Cancer?
The below websites provide detailed information about skin cancer:
- Cancer Australia – is an organisation -established in 2006 by the Australian government to benefit all Australians impacted by cancer and their family and caregivers.
- Cancer Council – a registered charity that works on research, prevention, and support for skin cancer.
- Healthdirect – a public information service supported by the Australian government and connected to the health system and industry.
Such websites define skin cancer as an outcome of abnormal skin cell growth divided into three types. It is also identified as the major cause of illness in Australia by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).
How Many Australians are Affected by Skin Cancer?
The same ACD report states that 2 in every 3 Australians are diagnosed with skin cancer at 70. In addition, more than 20,000 Australians are said to die every year due to skin cancer. The below summary from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) provides detailed statistics on the skin cancer situation in the country:
- 23,437 skin cancer-related hospitalisations in Australia in 2013-2014.
- An estimated 1,770 Australians died from skin cancer in 2016.
- The survival rate for skin cancer was 90% from 2007-2011.
The same report states that skin cancer accounts for the most significant number of cancers diagnosed annually.
Why do Sunburns Cause Skin Cancer?
The Skin Cancer Foundation explains that sunburn is an inflammatory reaction to ultraviolet (UV) radiation damage to the skin’s outermost layers. Cancer Council further states that if the body is unable to repair this damage, the skin may begin to divide and grow abnormally, possibly leading to skin cancer.
How to Prevent Sunburn?
The Skin Cancer Foundation has released a daily sun protection guide that advises the following:
- Wear clothing with an ultraviolet protection factor.
- Play in the shade as much as you can.
- Use a sunscreen that suits your skin type best.
- Wear additional sun protection when on a trip through a vehicle, aeroplane, train, or bus to protect yourself from the UVA rays that pass through glass.
- Do not use tanning beds.
- Do a monthly skin exam and see a dermatologist annually.
The Skin Cancer Foundation was established in 1979 to collaborate with physician members, donors, and many others to help people understand the importance of skin cancer prevention.
How to Treat Sunburn?
The same foundation lists the following first aid practices for sunburns:
- Cool the burn with a cool compress.
- Use a gentle moisturizing lotion while the skin is damp.
- Take a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug to help with discomfort and inflammation.
- Use aloe vera to help soothe the burn.
- Rehydrate by drinking extra liquids.
- See a doctor for severe blistering and/or signs of infection.
Sunburns and other types of burns are treated with appropriate first aid management, which you may learn from online resources and be trained for through a first aid course. Such first aid training equips you with the skills and knowledge to respond to incidents and other emergencies like sunburns. If you are interested in first aid courses, you may visit the website of CPR First Aid (RTO NO 21903), which holds first aid classes in its multiple training locations throughout Australia.
What are the Other Common Skin Diseases in Australia?
The Australasian College of Dermatologists (ACD) identifies the other common skin diseases in the country:
Further information about these skin diseases is found in their report.
What are the Other Skin Conditions?
Healthdirect lists the following skin conditions on this link:
- Nappy rash.
- Cold sores.
- Contact dermatitis.
- Erythema nodosum.
- Heat rash.
- Itchy skin.
- Keratosis pilaris.
- Molluscum contagiosum.
- Pityriasis rosea.
- Seborrhoeic dermatitis.
The same Healthdirect link provides more information about these skin conditions.
What Can I do on World Skin Health Day?
The Australasian College of Dermatologists asks those who experience skin, hair, and nail conditions to share stories with them to help others better understand the situation by sending them an email.
Otherwise, you may spread awareness by following their campaign toolkit or using the hashtags #skinyourein or #worldskinday on social media posts.
World Skin Health Day is celebrated on October 14, 2022, to recognise and promote skin health worldwide. New podcasts and social media campaigns in Australia will be released by The Australasian College of Dermatologists (ACD) to support Australians living with chronic skin, hair, and nail conditions. The same college states that skin cancer is the top skin disease in Australia, accounting for the most significant number of cancers diagnosed in the country every year. Skin cancer results from abnormal skin cell growth, which may result from ultraviolet (UV) radiation damage to the skin’s outermost layers during sunburns. Fortunately, sunburns and other types of burns are preventable and treatable with proper first aid practices you may learn online or through a first aid course. The ACD has also listed the other common skin diseases in the country, and Healthdirect has released data about the different skin conditions. Meanwhile, you may get involved in World Skin Health Day by sharing your story or spreading awareness.