The weather is cooling down and the days are getting shorter. Winter is just around the corner, and you are probably thinking about fluffy slippers, hot chocolate and making sure your umbrella is in your car. For many Australians, sun protection is the last thing on their minds during winter, and not something commonly associated with the colder months.
However, it is a common misconception that sun damage doesn’t occur in winter, as there is still a real risk of causing damage to your skin.
Instead of basing your sun protection habits on the forecasted temperature, at My Skin Centre we recommend monitoring the UV index. When this is at level 3 or above, an SPF30+ or higher with other protective measures should be used. In some locations, the UV index can easily reach level 3 on a daily basis, even during winter. MyUV is a comprehensive tool which shows you the days UV index based on your location.
In addition, you will find recommendations of the times sun protection should be used. If you get into a routine of checking this on a daily basis and acting on the information provided, your skin will have the best chance of avoiding skin cancers and sun damage. With over 2000 people dying of skin cancer every year in this country, it is worth taking the time to slip, slop, slap, seek and slide!
You can still get sunburnt in winter, and many people flock to any burst of sunlight, rather than the shade as they would in summer. For those who like to spend time skiing, keep in mind UV levels are higher in alpine areas and the sun’s reflection from the snow can cause your skin to burn rapidly.
UVB is commonly associated with melanoma, which is the most dangerous type of skin cancer. UVA causes damage to your cells and increases the risk of skin cancer while contributing to the appearance of ageing. This includes wrinkles and fine lines!
While you may be likely to get burnt in winter than in summer, the risk of sun damage is still there. UVA can penetrate through glass and consider that even when indoors you might be situated near a window. You may spend time commuting or have your lunch break outdoors and it is unlikely you will avoid the sun completely.
Sunscreen helps to filter the sun’s rays, and it is relatively easy to add it to your daily routine…all year round. SPF15+ is generally not recommended as it only filters 93% of UVB. SPF30+ should be the minimum as it filters 97%, while SPF50+ is still fairly new to the market and filters 98%.
If you are spending time outdoors when the UV is over 3, sunscreen is recommended. Application should follow the same steps as you would in summer, with reapplication throughout the day. For those who wear makeup, it is possible to do so without sacrificing your sunscreen efforts.
When you are responsible and protect your skin from the sun, you can still enjoy the outdoors. If you are concerned about sun damage, we can help. We offer full body and mole checks, at 9 convenient locations throughout Perth, WA.
Please contact us today to make an appointment.
With multiple locations throughout Perth and the South West there is a clinic near you!