How to protect yourself from the Sun?
Its holiday season and now everyone is off to the beach.
Its the time to loll around and chat to people you know, people you run into at the beach that you haven’t see for years.
For some it’s packing everything from the holiday house except the kitchen sink and packing it into a beach trolley and beginning the procession with everyone else down to the golden sands. Kids squirming to get away from mum or dads hands as they try and apply sunscreen.
For the teenagers and University students its a chance to be cool, going bareshirt and hanging the towels around their shoulders.
But the sun is getting stronger every year, so be alert to the risks of the sun and extreme heat.
I speak from experience when I say you need to protect yourself from the Sun. I’ve had numerous Sun spots cut out before they have become cancerous and have had reconstructive flap surgery for a basal cell carcinoma skin cancer removed from my nose. As with all of your health and wellness, its a 2 step preventative process
1. Have a regular skin checkup
Because I already have a history of melanoma, I have regular screening at my dermatologist.
However, how often should you get checked for skin cancer?
Some medical groups say you should only get a screening if you have suspicious moles or you have a high chance of getting melanoma, the deadliest type of skin cancer. Others recommend a yearly screening for people who are at high risk for skin cancer.
A few things make you more likely to get it:
- Blond or red hair, light eye colour, and skin that freckles or sunburns easily
- People in your family have had melanoma
- You’ve had unusual moles in the past
- You’ve had sunburns before, especially any that blistered
- You’ve used tanning beds
- You have more than 50 moles or any that look irregular
- You’ve had an organ transplant
If you have any concerns see your Doctor. Track any symptoms or changes in your condition. I already have my next appointment scheduled and saved in Wanngi.
2. How to protect yourself from the Sun
Extreme heat can put everyone at risk from heat illnesses, health risks are greatest for older travellers, infants and young children, and those who have chronic illnesses or are physically impaired.
Extreme heat may increase your health risks if you have breathing difficulties, heart or kidney problems, hypertension, Parkinson’s disease or a mental disorder.
So we have put together a list of tips for sun protection and ways to minimize heat exhaustion.
Tips for Sun Protection
Dress for the weather: wear loose-fitting, light-coloured clothing made from breathable fabric.
Stay hydrated: drink plenty of cool liquids, especially water, before you feel thirsty to decrease your risk of dehydration.
Avoid sun exposure: wear a wide-brimmed, breathable hat or use an umbrella.
Wear sunglasses: make sure they provide protection against UVA and UVB rays.
Limit your time in the sun: especially between 11:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.
Use sunscreen every day, even if its cloudy:
- Apply at least one ounce of sunscreen (enough to fill a shot glass) at least 15 to 30 minutes before going outside. Also use a lip balm or lipstick that contains sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30.
- Choose a broad spectrum sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB radiation. Make sure it is water resistant and has a SPF of 30 or higher. Other sunscreens may help keep you from getting sunburned, but they won’t protect against skin cancer
- Reapply sunscreen every two hours. Reapply every hour if you are swimming or sweating.
- Be extra careful around water and sand. These surfaces reflect the damaging rays of the sun, which can increase your chance of getting a sunburn.
- Keep babies younger than 6 months old completely covered and in the shade.
Be even more cautious if you are taking medications that may make you more sensitive to the sun. These include specific types of antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, antifungals, blood pressure medications, and chemotherapies