The weather is heating up and summer is almost here. When the temperature is warm, those weekend BBQs, days at the beach, splashing in the pool, and garden parties are all popular activities.
With time spent in the sun, the risk of skin cancer increases. There are ways you can enjoy the sunshine, while still protecting your skin.
Sunscreen helps to shield your skin from harmful UV rays, and should be applied throughout the day. In just 15 minutes your skin can start to burn, so even minimal exposure requires protection. Innovations in sunscreen has resulted in SPF50+ being the new normal. Despite the extra strength, this still needs to be applied liberally, and regularly.
There are a range of sunscreens available with something suitable for everyone. This list includes sensitive varieties, children’s sunscreen, tinted sunscreens, and sport and water resistant products. You can even choose between sprays, roll-ons, and lotions.
It may be tempting to put on a bikini and sunbathe by the pool. However, the potential damage is not worth it as baring your skin could lead to sunburn, skin cancer, and premature ageing. One of the Australian recommendations is to cover up with long sleeves, a higher neck, and long pants.
Rashies are one option, and the right one will have sun protective qualities. The newer designs are modern, which means you can still look stylish, while covering up!
Put the cap back in the cupboard and treat yourself to a new hat this summer. Look for a style which covers your face, scalp, neck, and ears. This could be a broad rimmed hat, bucket hat, or a legionnaire hat.
Check the material because it should be sturdy and not see-through. Some hats come with sun protective labels with protection up to SPF50+.
You should always protect your eyes in the sun. One preventable condition is called macular degeneration, which leads to blindness. This can be caused by sun damage.
Not all sunglasses are created equally, and you should think of function first. Then fashion. Find a pair which fits properly and offers more coverage for the delicate eye area. The lenses are important too, and sunglasses come with a rating from 1-5. A level 2 should be the minimum, but the higher the better. If you see an EFP rating, this will be out of 10 and a level 9 or 10 will provide maximum protection.
The temperature doesn’t always determine the extremity of the sun, and the UV index is a much better indicator. You can check the UV index online or through an app before deciding what type of sun protection you will need.
When the UV index is set to be 3 or above, the Cancer Council recommends sunscreen should be worn.
Being conscious of your skin is one of the best ways to be sun smart. Being aware of any changes, and having them assessed by a professional could help to spot any cancers or abnormalities earlier.
A skin and mole check at My Skin Centre in Perth is one way to find out how healthy your skin is, and we can monitor your skin well into the future.
Staying out of the sun is the best way to protect your skin from damage. Choose a shady spot to sit, take a sun tent, and avoid the hottest parts of the day.
Your skin can still be affected when sitting inside near a window, in a plane, or car!
When you combine the above strategies, your skin will thank you for it! You can still enjoy the summer without increasing your risk of skin cancer, or premature ageing.
With multiple locations throughout Perth and the South West there is a clinic near you!