November 13, 2020

Sun safety! Have fun in the sun

Tara Beecher M.Pharm (Read time 1min 30secs)

Summer is here! As we all flock to the beach to escape the heat, we need to make sure we are protecting our skin. Alarmingly, a recent report showed that one in two Australian’s have been sunburnt in the past year. Most people are unaware that only a small amount of sun exposure can cause damage to their skin. In the summer months, as little as 15 minutes of unprotected sun exposure can cause sunburn. As UV radiation can penetrate through cloud cover, it is essential to ensure appropriate sun protection is always used even on cloudy and cooler days. 

If you are going out in the sun when the UV index is at 3 or above, it is recommended to follow the 5 S’s:
» Slip on sun-protective clothing,
» Slop on sunscreen,
» Slap on a hat,
» Seek a shaded area and “Slide” on some sunglasses.

Incorporating a sunscreen into your everyday skincare routine can help reduce UV radiation exposure.

Sunscreen should be applied 20 minutes before exposure to the sun to create the intended protective barrier. For an adult, it is recommended to apply 5ml for each arm, leg, body, back and face. If outdoors for an extended time, it is recommended to re-apply every 2 hours. Choosing the right sunscreen can be difficult, especially if you have skin concerns such as eczema and acne. Good Price Pharmacy Warehouse stock a wide range of sunscreen products and our pharmacists are there to help you select the right sunscreen for you.

Skin cancer occurs when skin cells are damaged and the most common reason for damage is overexposure to UV radiation from the sun. Due to our proximity to the equator and high UV index, Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world. Approximately two in three Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer by the time they are 70.

Know the signs of skin cancer. Watch for newly appeared moles, moles changing in size, colour, appearance and feel or not healing. Unfortunately, there is evidence that the pandemic has delayed some people getting skin checks. Outcomes are better if cancer is identified and treated early. Therefore, if you have noticed any changes to your skin, organise a check-up sooner rather than later.