Safety In the Sun

Safety In the Sun

Wednesday 20th April 2022
Direct Training (GB) Ltd.

The most common form of cancer in the UK is skin cancer. It is reported that 100,000 new cases are diagnosed with 2,500 people being killed by the disease each year. That means that, on average, skin cancer kills 7 people per day in the UK alone.

Skin cancer is lead on when UV radiation (Ultraviolet) from the sun damages the skin. If you experience severe sunburn, particularly during your childhood you run the increased risk of developing skin cancer in later life. Therefore, it is extremely important to protect yourself and your family from the sun. In today's blog, we share with you some defences that you can implement to stay safe in the sun.

Hats & Clothing
Your first line of defence against the sun should be clothing. You should be sure to cover as much skin as possible and pay special attention to your shoulders as they burn much more easily.

It is also a good idea to consider wearing a hat and t-shirt when you are in the water and ensure that children and those who burn more easily always wear them. One of the best styles of hats is a legionnaire style hat with a wide brim. This is because it is designed to shade the face, ears, head and neck. Baseball caps are not ideal as they do not shade the ears or neck which makes them less effective overall.

The eyes are also venerable to damage from UV radiation. Therefore, sunglasses which have good quality lenses which can filter out UV radiation are essential. Glasses which display a EU CE mark are proven to offer safe protection. Furthermore, glasses which wrap around are even better as they prevent the sun from coming in from the sides.

SPF 30+ Sunscreen
First and foremost, it should be noted that no sunscreen can provide absolute protection. Sunscreen should be used alongside other lines of defence against the sun and not alone.

You should generously apply a sunscreen which has a rating of SPF30 (Sun Protection Factor) or more to all areas of skin which are exposed to the sun. Even better is a waterproof sunscreen as it protects you when you sweat, even if you aren't swimming. The sunscreen should be applied 20-30 minutes before you go outside and then re-applied at least every 2 hours depending on what you are doing. For example, if you are swimming or sweating a lot, you should re-apply it more often. You should also remember that using a towel or laying on your back can run the sunscreen off.

As mentioned earlier, SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor and refers to the level of protection against UVB radiation which is linked to skin cancer. You should look for a UVA rating of 4 or ideally 5 on the bottle when you are shopping for sunscreen. UVA radiation is associated with skin ageing. You should also be sure to check the expiry date on your sunscreen as an out-of-date sunscreen will not be as effective and you risk being burnt more easily. To protect your lips, you can use a SPF30+ lip balm.

A great way of protecting yourself from the sun is staying in the shade. This is especially the case if you are very fair skinned. It only takes 10 minutes of strong sunshine to burn pale skin. You should find some shade whenever possible but the time of day you especially need to be in the shade is between 11am and 3pm as this is when the sun is at its strongest. Babies and toddlers must always be kept in the shade where possible.

Detecting skin cancer
Most skin cancers can be cured if they are detected early on. You should check your skin for moles or marks about once a month. Tell your doctor if you see any changes to a mole or a patch of skin, or on adult skin you should look for new moles or marks in general.