Red heat warnings were issued for the first time ever across England and Wales last week.

Scotland didn’t have quite the same temperature predictions of 40 degrees, though some of the west tried its best.

Across Helensburgh and Lomond, people have been taking to the outdoors over the past few days in an effort to soak up the rays and enjoy the sweltering conditions. For some, it was, quite frankly, ‘taps aff’ time.

It’s not been a flawless summer - and Helensburgh is not yet shot of our token rainy grey days - but it’s been pretty hot, and this trend appears set to continue.

I’m not above sitting out the back when the sun’s out, trying to expose every possible surface, suncream-free, to the welcome light.

I don’t tan brilliantly, so it’s a perk when a little colour takes hold - however red it may be.

It lightens your hair, it makes you look slightly more full of life and, on a medical level, it tops up your levels of vitamin D.

Sunlight can be good for us.

But, as everyone always harks on at this time of year, it can also be very bad.

Four out of 10 cancers are preventable.

You can make lifestyle changes to reduce risks. Some of them are easier than others.

Remembering to apply a little suncream isn’t impossible.

But it also doesn’t come naturally to people so used to living in a perpetually overcast environment.

It’s a learned habit for frequent holiday-goers, though, so perhaps those of us basking in our back gardens can pick it up too.

It’s as simple as, say, using a daily moisturiser, or putting on makeup in the morning - which is also maybe why women are so much better at it than men.

Rates of melanoma, a malignant form of skin cancer, have shot up since the 20th century.

Which is strange, on one level, as surely we are far more inundated with various skin-protection substitutes than ever with the rise of the cosmetic industry.

But while rates in women have shot up by a pretty significant 76 per cent since 1973, cases in men have risen by an incredible 216 per cent.

Almost 1,500 men die each year from melanoma.

So even though the repeated warnings are a bit stale, be wary of prolonged sun exposure, and even warier of skin changes.

The ABCDE approach - Asymmetry, irregular Borders, Colour changes, large Diameter, Evolution - is worth being aware of too.

It may be a simple mole.

But it may not.

And with the weather getting warmer, us Scots are going to need to get better at lathering on the suncream.

Take care out there.