Slip, Slop, Slap! This slogan, coined in 1981, became one of the most popular public service announcements in Victoria, Australia. The alliterative command was given by a seagull on the beach in an attempt to get swimmers to SLIP on protective clothing, SLOP on sunscreen and SLAP on a wide-brimmed hat. In the decade that followed, there was a 50% reduction in sunburn among Victoria residents.
Americans could take a lesson from that Aussie seagull. The Skin Care Foundation states that one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime. Skin cancer can be disfiguring and life-threatening.
About 90 percent of nonmelanoma skin cancers and about 86 percent of melanomas---the most deadly form of skin cancer--- can be attributed to exposure from the sun.
In addition to preventing excess sun exposure---seeking shade and sliding on sunglasses have been added to the original slogan--- it is also important to look for early warning signs of skin cancer. Do a self exam once a month to look for new skin growths or changes in existing ones. Contact a doctor if you spot any changes in the ABCDs: Asymmetry, Border, Color or Diameter of the growth. It’s a good idea to have a skin exam performed by a doctor annually.