Skin care in the sun
Inspired by a wonderful trip to Australia where the sun shone every day and everyone wore summer clothes and was tanned, I wrote my latest blog about skin care in the sun.
I decided to investigate the sunburn and skin cancer link and how we can help prevent damaging our skin, as this is as true for summer time in the UK as it is when you are away on holiday.
The skin is the largest organ in the body and is there to protect our internal organs, so we need to take care of it.
Over exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun and sunbeds is the main cause of skin cancer. Melanomas, the most serious type of skin cancer, can be prevented through enjoying the sun safely and avoiding sunburn.
What are UV rays?
UVB are rays from the sun that cause sunburn and UVA rays penetrate deeper into the skin both types can cause skin cancer: You can’t feel UV rays and this is why people can still burn on cool days.
What is sunburn?
Sunburn, when your skin has gone pink or red, is a clear sign that the DNA in your skin cells has been damaged by too much UV radiation. Getting painful sunburn, just once every 2 years, can triple your risk of melanoma skin cancer. This is why it is so important to protect children as sunburn a s a child can increase the chances.
What happens to my skin when it burns?
Too much UV radiation from the sun or sunbeds can damage the genetic material (the DNA) in your skin cells. If enough DNA damage builds up over time, it can cause cells to start growing out of control, which can lead to skin cancer.
- Ways to prevent sunburn
- Use a good sunscreen with UVA & UVB filters
- Apply liberally
- Check use by date as effectiveness fades with age
- The higher the UVP number on the sunscreen the more protection
- Stay out of the sun at the hottest times 10am-4pm
- Wear a wide brimmed hat or cap to protect face and neck
- Cover up with loose thin clothing on top of sunscreen
- Sit in the shade, you will still get a tan
I suffered with terrible heat bumps/rash, caused I believe, by the sunscreen blocking my sweat pores, this stopped me using sunscreen for a few years which was not a great idea I know. I have since found a product with fewer chemicals that does not cause this problem but still gives me protection UVP30. I use this all the time now.