Summer is officially here and all anyone wants to do is get out and enjoy the sun!
But, before you do, please spend a few minutes reading our 7 summer safety tips - it could save your life!
Sunscreen and SPF
SPF, or sun protection factor, is a measure of the amount by which each UV B ray is decreased by. So, an SPF 15 sunscreen will decrease the amount of UV B by 15 times. In simple terms, it is how much longer you can stay out in the sun before you get sunburnt. It does NOT protect you completely from all the sun’s rays. It does NOT mean you will not get sunburnt. Even with sunscreen, you are still exposed to the sun’s harmful effects. The only difference is that it is at a lower intensity. Frequent re-application every 2 hours is necessary. The higher the SPF, the more it cuts out the UV rays. Also remember that sunscreen performance can be affected by wind, humidity and perspiration. Their potency diminishes with time so sunscreens that are more than 2 years old should not be used. There are many types on the market ranging from lotions, gels, creams and sprays. Special chemical free sunscreens or those specifically designed for sensitive skin are also available.
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Umbrellas provide additional protection from the sun’s rays. A baseball cap will not cover the back of your neck and ears. The best types of hats are those with a wide brim of 4 inches all around. Since 80% of skin cancers occur on the head and neck region, these regions should be especially protected.
Save Your Sight
The skin around your eyes is thinner than other parts of your face. Protect it with sunglasses that block UV A and UV B. Sunglasses also reduce your chances of developing cataracts from too much sun exposure. Finally, they will help block out the glare while you drive along those coastal highways.
As much a possible, do not stay out in the sun for longer than 1 hour at a time. Give your skin a chance to recover, a chance to cool off and minimise your exposure to cancer-causing UV rays.
Sip More Water
Too often dehydration results when you’re busy having fun with friends and sunbathing. Dehydration worsens sunburn as your skin becomes slower to regenerate and heal itself. It also results in consequences for the rest of your body. Dehydration can cause lethargy, muscle cramps, fainting, and kidney stones. Remember that alcohol and caffeinated beverages actually dehydrate you more. Stick to good old-fashioned water for best results.
Shoo Away Insects
Not only do mosquitoes cause itchy red bites on your skin, they might actually be carrying life-threatening illness like Dengue Fever, Malaria and Japanese Encephalitis. Protect yourself with insect repellant on exposed skin areas or burn a mosquito coil. For those who prefer all-natural products, look for citronella based oils or lotions. Mosquitoes hate their smell!
Seek Medical Advice
Losing track of time while sunbathing can result in second degree burns and blistering. These blisters may become infected and medical advice should be sought. Also, always remember the ABCD of skin lesions. This will dictate when a mole should be looked at by a medical professional.
Now you’re ready to have a great summer!