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Dublin: 9 °C Sunday 20 October, 2019
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This patch will say you're at risk of being sunburned before it happens

The UV Patch, which changes colour to indicate the different levels of sun exposure, will be launched here in June.

Image: Phil Kates/Flickr

A STRETCHABLE SKIN sensor designed to help wearers avoid sunburn by sensing UV rays will be released in Ireland in July.

The patch, simply called My UV Patch, detects ultraviolet (UV) rays and changes colour to indicate the different levels of sun exposure, alerting you to whether you’re at risk of being sunburned.

It can be worn for up to five days and will be distributed from dermatologists and GPs when it arrives in July.

The patch was designed by Irish company PCH International, which specialises in manufacturing products, and was created by L’Oreal Global Technology Incubator. La Roche-Posay is bringing the patch to market.

It’s something the Irish Cancer Society’s Kevin O’Hagan describes as a “very important product,” saying it would help encourage people to keep themselves protected against the sun.

“It represents a step forward in raising people’s awareness of the dangers of UV exposure and the importance of sun protection,” he said. “It’s important to note that Ireland has the highest recorded incidences of non-melanoma skin cancer and the particular problem is about 75% of the population have fair skin types”.

They’re twice as likely to get skin cancer so the risk is really high. We do underestimate the power of the sun.

b8aaccce-95e9-4d3c-9f03-7b42107fd588 The patch can also be scanned and uploaded via an app.

O’Hagan referenced a 2015 study it carried out which found that between April and September, almost 90% of the days recorded showed UV rays high enough to cause skin damage. Even cool and cloudy days can still bring a risk and O’Hagan says that Irish people have a habit of underestimating the dangers of the sun when it’s warm.

“It’s certainly a starting point for raising awareness, but we do need people to change behaviours,” he said. “We do need to see young people taking protective measures, ensuring that they are safe in the sun. You can do a lot to prevent skin cancer and it can be prevented in almost 90% of cases”.

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Quinton O'Reilly

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