Is your skin OK or SK?

If you love spending time in the sun or have spent a lot of time outdoors, you may be at increased risk of skin damage, including solar keratosis (SK).


Solar keratoses (SKs) are rough skin patches caused by exposure to the sun over time that can lead to non-melanoma skin cancer in a small number of cases. SK mainly affects those over 40 and if you notice any changes to your skin it is important to visit your doctor to get them checked.


Limiting the amount of time you spend unprotected in the sun is one of the best ways to prevent sun damage, including solar keratosis and skin cancer. To reduce your risk of sun damage:

  • Try to stay out of the sun, especially in the middle of the day
  • Cover up by wearing hats, long-sleeved shirts and long skirts or trousers
  • Put on a high factor sunscreen (factor 30 or higher) BEFORE going out in the sun. Make sure you use plenty of sunscreen and re-apply regularly


…your skin and risk of sun damage. Are you at increased risk of SK? Take the 7-step assessment READ MORE


…the signs of solar keratosis and how to check your skin. Do you know the signs of sun-damaged skin? Know how to check your skin for solar keratosis READ MORE


…by booking a skin check appointment with your doctor READ MORE

Know Your SkinTM campaign checks in at Otter Nurseries

This summer, LEO Pharma and Otter Nurseries have teamed up to bring the Know Your Skin™ campaign to Devon to raise awareness of solar keratosis among gardeners. Solar keratosis (also known as SK) is defined as rough or scaly skin patches that develop where unprotected skin has been exposed to sun over time. SK can lead to non-melanoma skin cancer in a small number of cases.

Visitors can learn how to check their skin for sun damage, obtain practical sun protection tips and step inside the ultraviolet (UV) face imaging photobooth. A free print-out of the UV will show the effects that prolonged sun exposure can have showing areas of the face with increased melanin production.

Know Your Skin™ campaign supporter Dr Tony Downs, Consultant Dermatologist from the Royal Devon and Exeter hospital, comments: “Solar keratosis is more likely to affect people who have hobbies involving prolonged sun exposure, such as gardening. The Know Your Skin campaign advises people on how to spot the signs of sun damage and also how to prevent it, so we hope that by being at Otter Nurseries, we’re encouraging gardeners in Devon to dedicate more time to truly knowing their skin.”

Charlotte Fionda, from the charity Skcin says: “It is vital people know how to protect and look after their skin in the summer months but also the importance of doing monthly skin checks not just by looking at their skin, but by feeling it too. We want people to understand that skin checks are about more than just moles and knowing how to check for any sign of sun damage is important.”

Hermione Lawson of the British Skin Foundation, who is supporting the Know Your Skin™ campaign, said: “Public awareness of the dangers of too much UV exposure still needs to improve in the UK and the rates of skin cancer and potential pre-cursors such as solar keratosis are on the rise as a result. It is incredibly important that the general public know these dangers and check their skin regularly for any changes, seeing their healthcare professional as soon as possible if they are worried.”

  • WHAT? The Know Your Skin™ campaign greenhouse at Otter Nurseries 
  • WHEN? Saturday 16th August 9.00am - 5.30pm, Sunday 17th August 10.30am - 4.30pm 
  • WHERE? Otter Nurseries, Ottery St Mary, Devon, EX11 1LZ

If anyone is worried about any changes to their skin, they should speak to their GP. For further information about Skcin visit

Caroline's story

"If you've ever been a sun worshipper, watch your skin... anything that changes, get it checked out!" Caroline, 62 spotted sun damage on the back of her hand and was diagnosed with solar keratosis. WATCH HER STORY...

UK/IE/2013a/00006 - July 2014

Already diagnosed with or being treated for solar keratosis? Sign-up to QualityCare™ for free and personalised support: