THE number of people diagnosed with skin cancer in South Derbyshire has tripled, new figures have revealed.
Dr Buk Dhadda, GP with Gresleydale Health Centre and governing body member of NHS Southern Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group, revealed that people aged 15 to 35 found the condition has continually spiked since the 1970s.
In the last set of recorded figures, 645 people were diagnosed with skin cancer in 2010 in the area.
Now health chiefs are urging people to take 'extra care' when they find themselves exposed to the sun.
Dr Dhadda said: "It's important to remember that exposure of unprotected skin to the sun's harmful rays can cause serious problems including sunburn, heatstroke and even cancer.
"Statistics show that poor sunbathing habits are causing higher levels of malignant melanoma, which is one of the least common but most serious types of skin cancer.
"In men, 38 per cent of melanoma skin cancers occur on the trunk of the body, particularly the back, while, in women, 42 per cent of cases are on the legs.
"Research by Cancer Research UK found that two people are diagnosed with melanoma in Britain every day, with the number of people aged 15 to 35 diagnosed tripling since the late 1970s.
"I'm urging people to alter their sunbathing habits and cover up vulnerable skin in the midday sun so we can all enjoy the sun more safely."
Health chiefs have also come up with some top tips on how to sat safe in the sun:
Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration in hot weather;
Apply sunscreen with a factor of at least 15 and preferably higher;
Use sunscreen to protect babies and children, and ensure they have plenty of fluids when outside in the open air;
Make sure children do not become overheated or dehydrated when indoors; and
Avoid sunbathing between 11am and 3pm when the sun is at its hottest.
More information on skin cancer is available at www.nhs.uk/conditions/cancer-of-the-skin.