This week is Eye Health Week, promoting the importance of eye health and the need for regular sight tests for all. To mark the occasion, a bunch of really interesting stalls showcasing research and raising eye health awareness were on display in the reception of St. Paul’s Eye Unit
One of these stalls was the Hamill Lab’s ‘Sunscreen Challenge’, using our UV modified camera to image the areas people miss on their face when applying sunscreen. The research paper relating to this has just been accepted, so you should see that published soon.
The sunscreen study showed that people are pretty bad at applying sunscreen to the area around their eyes. The reason this is so important is that although the region around our eyes is only ~1% of our skin’s make-up, but ~10% of skin cancers are found here. Removing tumours from around the eyes is a difficult task, and can be potentially disfiguring.
The Sunscreen Challenge stall had great interest from patients and NHS staff, with many people saying how it had never crossed their minds to take care to protect the area around the eyes. Encouragingly, these people also said that they would definitely be more careful in future to protect the region around their eyes through hats, shade, and improved application, showing that our message was getting through! Success!
It’s also refreshing to get out and speak to the public about our research. There’s an extra level of motivation that comes from knowing that real people will benefit from scientific research carried out in the lab.
Overall it was another great outing for the sunscreen challenge, and who knows where it will next pop up!