New Zealanders urged to stay sun-smart this summer and take melanoma risk seriously

Sunbath protection
Photo credit: File

Kiwis are being urged to stay safe in the sun this summer and take the risk of melanoma seriously.

New Zealand has the highest rate of melanoma in the world, killing more than 300 people each year.

Doctor Rajan Patel from the Skin Institute says it is not just older people getting diagnosed with the disease.

"There are a young group of Kiwis, who are in their 20s, 30s and 40s, who are developing melanoma."

He says people in the sun should stay safe and keep conscious of the risk in the sun.

"Sunburn is a dangerous thing when it occurs on people's skin cause that does really damage the skin - the repeated sunburn - so the advice is to wear a good sunscreen, SPF 30 or greater."

Mr Patel says long sunshine hours and weaker ozone layer doesn't make it easy on Kiwis, but sunscreen, longer clothing, sunglasses and a hat can make a big difference.

Newshub.