One in four Brits have never checked for skin cancer

Woman With Suntan Lotion At The Beach In Form Of The Sun

Nearly a quarter of Brits have never checked their skin for life-threatening changes, despite a surge in skin cancer deaths over the last decade, new research suggests.

One in four (23%) adults in Britain admit they have never checked for changes in appearance or number of moles on their skin, which can be a major warning sign of the disease.

The independent study of 2,027 people was commissioned by skin checking app Miiskin, which has teamed up with the British Skin Foundation charity in the campaign to battle the most common cancer in the UK. £1 for each free UK download of the app will go to charity for one month.

The study also revealed that three per cent had a mole they were concerned about for more than three months, but hadn’t had it checked by a medical professional. With one in 50 currently having a persistently itchy or bleeding mole.

Surprisingly, 17% of Britain’s under-35s believed they were too young or weren’t exposed to the sun enough to develop skin cancer. Just under one in 10 under-45s (9%) thought they should only check their skin if advised to by a medical professional.

The self-checking message does seem to be sinking in for some though, with nearly a third (31%) doing monthly checks – the frequency recommended by the British Skin Foundation.

Almost a fifth of under 35s are now taking ‘selfies’ to monitor their skin for moles, with 18 per cent using photos to document changes.

However, people are still taking risks with their skin health. One in 10 (11%) use tanning beds – 13% of which admit to sessions once or multiple times a week.

Only two fifths of Brits (38%) say they always use sun cream when exposed to the sun and despite warnings about the dangers one in 20 under 35s (5%) say they rely on sunbeds for a winter tan.

Skin cancer is on the rise in Britain, with more than 100,000 new cases diagnosed annually and 2,500 deaths from the disease every year. Latest Government statistics indicate a 35.8% 10-year rise in skin cancer deaths.

Jon Friis, founder and CEO of Miiskin, said: ‘With cases of skin cancer increasing in the UK, the self-checking message is starting to sink in for some, but not all. Keeping track of changes to your skin can be a challenge – and many people are now using technology to spot and document changes to their skin. Early detection is important for successful treatment.’

Skin cancer is mainly caused by over-exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light. Non-melanoma skin cancers are the most common, with melanoma being one of the most dangerous.

The Miiskin app, which has already received 100,000 downloads globally, including 20,000 in the UK, was created to help people digitally track how skin and moles look, with reminders to routinely check for changes. It does not try to diagnose skin cancer or tell users that they are at risk or not. Those who do spot changes should seek advice from their GP or another medical professional.


To read guidelines on identifying potential signs of skin cancer on clients’ skin, click here

Ten tips for men to get in shape in 2018

Press ups pexels-photo-176782

Ashley Verma, Founder of Define London, says men need to embrace different exercise methods this year, including ‘the trend taking over the nation: barre.’ Barre workouts involve a series of postures, aided by a stationary hand-rail, as used in ballet.

Verma has outlined 10 top tips that men should follow if they want to get in shape in 2018:

1) Be patient and set realistic goals

A lot of men who have a competitive nature tend to be in a rush to achieve results: to be the strongest, the fastest, the best. Take a step back and really think about what you want to achieve and at what point in your journey. This will give you the best results in the long-term.

2) Run in ad breaks

Keep active wherever possible, even if that’s jogging on the spot or squatting in the five minute ad breaks in between your favourite TV shows. Why not try and fit in 50 press ups in between penalty kicks? Or do weights while your football team sing the national anthem? Quick hits make a difference, while getting your head into the right mindset at the same time.

3) Be more flexible

Ensure you spend double the time stretching your tight muscles as your flexible muscles. Frequent male problem areas are the hamstrings, shoulders, and lower back so pay extra attention here to avoid preventable injuries.

4) Vary your fitness routine

Alternate your exercise activities to stay motivated to work out — variety is good for both the mind and the body, and you may learn new things about your body with the different workouts you do. Don’t be afraid to try the more stereotypically feminine forms of exercise such as yoga, ballet barre and pilates, as many top athletes swear by these methods, and you may be surprised by the results…

5) Find a fitness buddy

If you need more motivation to stick with your fitness and diet plan, don’t feel like you’re alone. Workout with a friend to heighten your focus on fitness, but also to add an edge of competition. Go further by choosing a buddy who’s a bit more advanced, stronger or faster, as they’ll make you feel challenged. Working harder to keep up will help you reach your fitness goals.

6) Develop strength-training exercises

For strength training, all you need is your own body weight. Strength training means using resistance to create work for your muscles. Instead of just focusing on strengthening the upper body one day and then the lower the next, pair it all together. This way you get a full-body workout that will maximize your daily calorie burn.

7) Get stronger fast

Do the same amount of exercise in 10 percent less time. This will force your muscles to work harder, whilst improving your endurance at the same time. A bonus is you will have more time to catch up on the sports highlights.

8) Create music playlists that will inspire and take you further

We can all relate to certain tracks making you feel happier and more upbeat, so make sure your playlist reflects the mood you want to be in while you work out. Quick motivational music will give you better results in the long-term.

9) Listen to your body

Your body is your greatest ally when it comes to working out, so it’s important to never ignore what it is telling you. If it’s telling you to slow down, abide. If your body is telling you that you have more to give, turn it up. You may embark on a certain training method to find that is not the body type you are striving for. A week in you may hit setbacks, will you be prepared to mentally handle them? Have a game plan and adapt as you go along.

10) Journal your workouts

Write down progress, thoughts and how you found certain workouts. It can be an invaluable tool for checking progress and analysing what works for you, what doesn’t, and why. Journal your gym sessions and look back weeks ahead for motivation and ideas of what to try next.



Seaweed extract could protect skin from UV radiation

seaweed_low res

Scientists from King’s College London have discovered a compound in seaweed that could protect human skin from sun damage without having a negative impact on marine ecosystems.

Known as palythine, the mycosporine-like amino acid, is produced by organisms found in shallow water that are exposed to a lot of sunlight. Under laboratory conditions, the palythine was found to absorb harmful rays from the sun and protect human cells from UV induced damage.

Most formulations of sunscreen contain synthetic UV radiation filters that can cause damage to the environment if they make their way in to water systems, potentially harming vulnerable marine life, including coral, microorganisms and fish.

Further research on palythine could therefore lead to the development of more natural, non-toxic sunscreen that would protect human skin effectively without negatively impacting the environment.




A single workout may provide immediate protection for the heart

muscular legs with a resistance band

A new review published in JAMA Cardiology and led by Liverpool John Moores University’s Professor Dick Thijssen, suggests a single workout can immediately protect the heart against cardiovascular disease.

It is widely accepted that a physically active lifestyle can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. However, this observation is generally attributed to exercise’s ability to reduce cardiovascular risk factors such as body mass, cholesterol levels, insulin levels and fat mass, among others. Usually this takes several weeks or even months.

Benefits of exercise, however, seem to be present far sooner. This new research shows  that only one episode of exercise may provide early protection of the heart for two to three hours, followed by a more robust and longer period of protection that emerges after 24 hours and remains for several days.

This theory is based on the well-known concept that the heart is protected against  a blockade of blood flow, such as a myocardial infarction, when it is repeatedly exposed to short periods of blood flow blockade, prior to the event. This ‘prepares’ the heart against damage. Various types of exercise seem to induce a comparable effect, leading to protection of the heart.

Dick Thijssen, who is a Professor in Cardiovascular Physiology and Exercise at the LJMU School of Sport and Exercise Sciences explains:

‘Protecting the heart through exercise is an easy, inexpensive, and powerful therapy that deserves greater recognition and further resources to establish the optimal dose. This is a key review summarising how a single bout of exercise can have a clear impact in keeping the heart adequately supplied with blood. Firstly, this means that one bout of exercise can cause clinically relevant protection against cardiovascular disease. Secondly, this means that benefits of exercise are present, even in the absence of changes in risk factors. These are both important and powerful messages for all who want to take up exercise.’

Researchers have recommended that one way clinicians could use this to help patients is with ‘prehabilitation’: a few sessions of exercise planned for the days preceding planned cardiac intervention. The authors hope this may reduce in-hospital mortality and morbidity, assuming, of course, that patients have the capacity for physical activity.


Golf and group workouts are good for wellbeing

gruppe trainiert im fitnessstudio

Golf and group workouts are the two activities with the largest social impact on health and wellbeing, according to a recent report from ukactive.

The physical activity – a social solution report looks at the value of community sports and leisure facilities, based on its impact on health, wellbeing, education and crime. The overall value of this to society is estimated to be £3.3bn.

The findings are based on information collected from a two-year study of £1.8m people across 651 leisure facilities in the UK, measuring social return on investment in sport in England.

Based on the value of each sport, per person, golf and group workouts ranked top for health and wellbeing, at more than £400 per person. However, football was the most valuable sporting activity for improving educational attainment (£45 per person) and reducing crime (£0.92 per person).

Access the full report here

Help us bring cheer with Crisis at Christmas!

National homelessness charity Crisis is calling on therapists to provide treatment for homeless people at its temporary centres this Christmas.

Crisis at Christmas 2015

In its 50th anniversary year, Crisis at Christmas runs from 22 – 29 December 2017 with centres set to open across London, Birmingham, Newcastle, Coventry and Edinburgh. As well as warmth, companionship and hot meals, guests will receive healthcare and specialist advice on housing, work and benefits.

The therapy service is hugely valuable for guests, giving them access to treatment they may otherwise miss out on during the rest of the year. With 229 guests having therapy treatment across all centres last year, Crisis is calling for qualified therapists to provide assessment, treatment and advice and for student therapists to assist in running the clinics.

There are now 307,000 people sleeping rough, or in temporary housing – that’s around one in every 206 people.

Crisis at Christmas centres are run by thousands of volunteers from all walks of life with registration now open at You can also find out more information about volunteering on our website.

Here’s what people are saying:

Pandora Knocker, Service Organiser for Physiotherapy, will be volunteering for the fifth time this year. She said:

“Everybody has a right to healthcare and it’s great that I can bring my skills as a physio to Crisis at Christmas. It feels good to be part of something that can really make a difference.”

One in four homeless people will face spending Christmas alone this year. With the homelessness crisis worsening, Crisis says the centres are needed now more than ever.

Jon Sparkes, Chief Executive of Crisis, said:

“Without our volunteers, Crisis at Christmas simply wouldn’t exist to help provide a warm, safe place to those with nowhere to call home.

“It’s because of their generosity that we can bring thousands of people friendship, support, and life-changing services each and every Christmas.

“And though we work all year round to help people experiencing homelessness – we know that the Christmas season should be a special time for everyone and that no one should have to spend it alone.

“So as our charity turns 50, we will work harder than ever to make homelessness a thing of the past. And until then our volunteers will remain at the heart of what we do.”

About the organisation:

Crisis at Christmas

Crisis at Christmas is a unique volunteer effort that provides immediate help for homeless people at a critical time of year. It is only made possible through the collective effort and generosity of thousands of volunteers, individuals, community organisations and companies who donate money, time, skills, goods and services.

This year guests will be welcomed at over 13 centres across Britain and offered food, clothing, health services and a chance to relax. But the work does not end there. They offer their guests individual advice and support and encourage them to go to their year-round service centres in the New Year.

In 2016, they welcomed 4,706 guests across London, Edinburgh, Birmingham, Coventry and Newcastle, supported by more than 10,859 volunteers.

About Crisis

Crisis is the national charity for homeless people. They help people directly out of homelessness, and campaign for the social changes needed to solve it altogether.

FHT Members – we know that many of you have been kind enough to support Crisis in previous years. Please let the FHT know if you support Crisis this Christmas, as we’d welcome a short write-up for International Therapist.

Being physically active can improve your mental health

Fitness dancing

Physical activity can play an important role in building resilience and supporting mental health recovery, according to mental health charity, Mind.

The above findings are revealed in the Get Set to Go Programme
Evaluation Summary, a report on a landmark two year project to help people with mental health problems get active.

With help from Sport England and the National Lottery, the project has seen more than 3,500 people take part in physical activity projects across the country.

The project also showed that people who were physically active on a regular basis were more likely to experience better wellbeing.

Seeing the benefits of physical activity on mental health, those who took part have, on average, increased their physical activity by 1.3 days each week.

Read the full report