Avoiding Sun Damage

Bright sunlight and long days make summer a real pleasure; but not everything about the sun is good. Some people will tell you that you need sun exposure for vitamin D production; but research shows that most of our vitamin D needs come from food we eat. Some sun exposure is useful; but perhaps minutes each day rather than hours may be the safer option!

Problems with the sun can include:
  • Skin Cancer
  • Dehydration
  • Glare (when driving for instance is dangerous)
  • Premature skin aging
  • Sunburn
  • Heatstroke
  • Prickly heat
Choosing a pair of sun glasses.
Always look for the UV tag to ensure that they are UV approved
Choosing a suntan lotion.
Level of protection can vary -not just between lotions but between the way they are rated in different countries
Some are going to be removed by washing or swimming; others may be more water resistant.
Chemicals in some can cause an allergic reaction with some sensitive skin types
Treating Skin Damage
  • Aloe vera has been widely used & many people swear by it. The active ingredients are said to work better if harvested fresh & applied early morning.
  • Get the doctor to check it out if any spot or marking changes colour; or if any patch of skin exposed to sun becomes itchy
  • Ask chemist
  • Get your body healthy. Skin and any other cancers are better combated by a healthy body. Eat well, exercise, minimize stress and get adequate sleep.
What to Do about Being in the Sun
  • Don’t go outside in the middle of the day (particularly in summer and/or in sub tropics). It is better to plan to do things early morning or late afternoon and have a nap in the middle of the day –and don’t take a nap where UV radiation is high.
  • Always wear sun block out during the day –even in winter in the sub tropics and tropics. If possible wear long sleeves and trousers.
  • Wear shirt when swimming
  • Don’t put tanning oils on
  • Wear a hat and sunglasses. Make sure that your hat is dense enough to keep out harmful UV rays. Some materials, particularly some straw hats are not woven densely enough to be an effective sun screen.
If you are driving, for long periods try wearing UV protective attachable sleeves and gloves available from cancer foundation shops.
If you are out in the sun, try and spend some time in the shade. Take your own sun shade if you are going to the beach.
If you enjoy spending time in your garden for entertainment make sure you incorporate shady areas. A pergola covered in vines, a gazebo or summer house will provide excellent escapes from the sun without spoiling the impact of being outside. A bench placed in the shade of a tree or garden wall will make a great place to relax.

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