When the sun’s shining most of us like to get outside and make the most of it. BBQs, picnics, days out on the beach. It’s impossible not to smile when there’s not a single cloud in the sky.
At times like these, it’s easy to forget that you need to protect your skin from the sun, but it’s so important. UV rays are the main cause of wrinkles and sunburn can lead to skin cancer. You need to protect not only yourself but the rest of your family, particularly any children.
Choosing the right sun cream
It doesn’t matter if you’re going to be spending 10 minutes in the sun or two hours, make sure you’re wearing sun cream. Even if it looks a bit overcast you can still burn. For hard to reach places like your back, ask a family member to help. If you’re going to be swimming, make sure you choose water-resistant sun cream, which is widely available.
You need to make sure you wear sun cream with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or more and your children wear factor 50+. You should reapply it every two hours and wear a sun hat and sunglasses for extra protection. Your sun cream needs to have at least a four-star UVA protection rating in order for it to be effective, so make sure you check labels before you buy. You’ll be surprised by how many expensive sun creams only offer two-star or three-star UVA protection.
Watch you don’t become dehydrated
Don’t stay out in the sun all day, however tempting it might be. Try to spend some time in the shade when the sun is at its hottest in the early afternoon and make sure you drink plenty of water so you don’t dehydrate. Babies and children can feel the effects of the heat quicker than adults so keep a close eye on them. Babies have delicate skin so they should be kept out of direct sunlight full stop.
Dealing with sunburn
After spending time in the sun, if you find you do have sunburn then it’s important to treat it and remember to cover up the area affected in the days that follow. You should carefully dab your red skin with a cold flannel and then apply some aftersun.
If you get blisters, your skin swells up or you feel unwell you should go to see a doctor as soon as possible.
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