Safe in the sun
The Sun may have finally put his hat on, but importantly, so should you!
It may not be cool to be pale or tan-less but it certainly proves better for your health as recent research tells us that sunburn can double your risk of getting skin cancer.
It’s a common misconception that a tan means your skin is healthy, however a tan is actually a sign of the skin being damaged by ultraviolet radiation.
When cells are damaged by the sun, melanin rushes to the surface to provide protection against the next blast. So while many of us think we are building up a nice healthy tan, getting in 20 minutes or so a day, your skin is in actual fact darkening in response to damage on top of damage.
The sun gives out ultraviolet (UV) radiation which is made up of three types of rays:
• UVA – causes wrinkles
• UVB – sunburn and skin cancer
• UVC - can't get through the ozone layer
While the country has hardly enjoyed a sun-filled summer, it is important not to rush out when the rain does stop, and lie in the sun with only a few items of clothing to save your modesty…soaking up as much heat as possible. Take it easy, enjoy the weather and avoid the side-effects of burns.
The best way to prevent skin cancer is to avoid too much time in the sun. To help keep you and your family safe, remember some simple sun tips:
• Take cover – stay out of the sun during peak hours (10am – 2pm) when the sun is at its’ strongest
• Choose the right SPF – not all SPF sunscreens offer protection against UVA and UVB rays. Look for sunscreens with an SPF of at least 30
• Keep reapplying sunscreen - at least every two hours if you’re outside
• Drink plenty of water to avoid overheating
If you would like more information on avoiding skin cancer or, should you stay in the sun too long, treating skin burns, please visit www.nhs.uk for further information.