Fun in the sun may leave you with more than just a glorious tan. Here are some tips on how you can be sun-smart during any holiday season.
‘It’s important to educate yourself on ways to take better care of your skin. Many cases of skin cancer can be prevented by following some precautions. Making simple changes to your day out at the beach may just save your life,’ says Dr Nicola Rains, a GP at NHC Health Centres.
- Avoid the sun when its rays are the strongest, between 10am and 3pm — even in winter or when it is cloudy, UV radiation happens all year around.
- Use good-quality sunscreen, preferably one with a broad spectrum and high SPF (the higher the SPF the stronger the protection).
- Apply the sunscreen every two hours, spreading it generously on all parts of the skin that are exposed.
- Sunscreen doesn’t provide complete protection from the sun’s UV rays, wear clothing that covers your body well.
- Even if it’s overcast, put on your sunscreen. UV light can still penetrate through clouds.
- Tanning beds emit UV radiation, which increases the risk of skin cancer; avoid them.
- Just spending 30 minutes in the sun without protection is enough to cause damage to your skin.
- If you do get sunburnt, apply cool tap water to the area for 10 to 15 minutes until the redness subsides.
- It is recommended that you have a sunburn relief spray or moisturising cream in your medicine cabinet, especially if you do a lot of outdoor activities. Don’t use petroleum jelly on a burn.
- Seek immediate medical attention if you have severe sunburn, blistering, pain, nausea or chills.
- Know your skin. You must know every mole, bump, spot on your body, so when there are any changes they can be noticed easily. If you notice anything unusual, seek medical attention as soon as you can.