Appropriate exposure to sunshine has many health benefits. It enhances our mood, energy levels and it’s our primary source of vitamin D. However, getting too much sun can be harmful. The sun exposes your skin to ultra violet radiation (UV rays) that can damage your skin and lead to premature ageing and skin cancer.
You probably protect your skin when on holidays abroad or on hot sunny days at home but that isn’t enough. Get into the habit of protecting your skin every day from April to September, whatever the weather. Even in Ireland in spring and autumn, when the weather is cool, UV levels can be high enough to cause damage.
If you are going to be in the sun, there are a number of key steps you can take to protect yourself from UV rays. Our doctors have come up with a few tips which will help protect your skin this summer.
Sun protection tips from our doctors
1. Apply sunscreen regularly
Before you go out into the sun, always apply sunscreen. It is vitally important to purchase a good quality and suitable sunscreen. When you are out in the sun, make sure to reapply sunscreen every 60-80 minutes. When the temperature reaches high levels, our doctors would recommend a high factor (SPF 30 or higher).
2. If you have children, make sure to protect your child’s skin
If you have children under your care it is especially important to think about protecting them. Children’s skin is sensitive and if they don’t get the correct protection from the sun when they are young it can cause serious health issues when they are older.
3. If possible, avoid the strongest sunlight of the day.
Simply staying in the shade between 11am and 4pm. is one of the best ways to limit your UV exposure. Our doctors suggest finding some shade and avoid spending extended periods in the sun.
4. Wear appropriate clothing
When you are in the sun use clothing to cover up. A broad-brimmed hat will protect your neck and ears which are vulnerable to direct sunlight. Dark-coloured clothes can also absorb more UV rays and provide more protection than brightly coloured clothing.
5. Protect your eyes
Being outside on a bright day can damage your eyes if you don’t protect yourself. Purchasing a suitable pair of sunglasses can help to avoid causing damage to the delicate skin around our eyes. A growing percentage of skin cancers can occur on the thin and fine skin of the eyelid.
Our team of VideoDoc doctors can give you advice about sun safety Monday to Sunday 8am-10pm.