Did you know? South Africa has the 2nd highest rate of skin cancer in the world. Up to 1 500 South Africans are diagnosed with melanoma yearly.
Just 15 minutes of exposure to Ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun can cause skin damage. Protecting your skin from the harsh South African sun will prevent you from developing melanoma.
Summer is almost here and promises to be extremely hot so we recommend you take all the necessary precautions to protect your skin from the sun! Read our tips below:
Stay out of the intense sun
The sun is most intense between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. so, to avoid getting sunburnt, seek shade during this time. You should also wear protective clothing and use sunscreen, even when you’re in the shade.
Wear sunscreen every day
Sunscreen should be worn every day, even in winter. Dermatologists recommend using sunblock with a minimum of SPF 30. If you’re in the sun, make sure you reapply sunblock every two hours or after swimming or sweating.
Wear protective sunglasses
Invest in a proper pair of sunglasses that provide UVA and UVB protection. This will prevent damage from happening to the sensitive skin around your eyes as well as sun damage to your eyes.
Don’t use sunbeds
Although you may want the bronzed body that sunlamps and tanning beds promise you, sunbeds can increase your chances of skin cancer as they expose your skin to very harmful UVA and UVB rays. Any tan is the skin’s reaction to exposure to UV rays – the skin darkens as it produces more melanin to protect itself.
Cover your head
Make sure you wear a hat that covers your face, ears and neck if you’re in direct sunlight. This will prevent sunburn; however, also remember to wear sunblock, even if you’re covering yourself.
Take into account any medication you’re taking
Some medications increase your sensitivity to the sun; therefore, read the medication side effects to see if you should take extra precautions when being exposed to the sun. Common medications that can make you more sensitive to sunlight include certain aspirin, antihistamines, antibiotics and diabetic medications.
Monitor your skin
Look for any changes in birthmarks, freckles or moles as well as if any new marks on your skin. If you see any abnormalities, visit your general practitioner or dermatologist as soon as possible.
Other factors that can affect your skin
There are other factors that keep you from maintaining a healthy skin, such as smoking, drinking, taking excessively long showers. So make sure you look after your skin this summer by eating a healthy diet, drinking enough water and getting sufficient sleep! Also make sure that you moisturise your skin properly every day, especially if the sun has burnt or dried out your skin.0