Holiday Information - Safety in the Sun

Safety in the Sun - Holiday Information

Our skin is exposed to the sunlight from childhood onwards. Sunbathing for short sharp bursts in extreme sunlight is extremely dangerous for our skin but even walking around in the summer without protection can cause gradual damage to our skin.

We in fact get about 23% of our sun exposure by the age of 18 and as much as 80% of ageing is caused by sun exposure. The real damage to our skin is caused by the UVA rays leaving long term skin damage and premature skin ageing but because the effects are not seen until later in life there is a general lack in understanding the importance of UVA protection.

  • You should always try to avoid direct sun between 11am and 3pm and wear a good broad-brimmed hat, long-sleeved shirt and sun glasses.
  • Sun glasses should be worn regularly in sunny conditions since apart from reducing glare they can reduce the risks of Glaucoma. Sunlight is the primary source of UV radiation that can damage tissues of the eye and The American Medical Association reported that even low amounts of sunlight can increase the risk of developing eye disorders.
  • Sun glasses should also always be worn when in snow conditions, to prevent "burning" of the eye surface, called "snow blindness" or photokeratitis from sunlight reflecting from the intence white of the snow.
  • If you are over 65 you should still avoid the intence heat of the day since there is an increase in risk of a heart attack.
  • Make sure you regularly reapply sun cream and ensure that it protects against UVA & UVB rays. UVA rays cause skin to age prematurely and UVB rays cause the skin to burn.
  • Never expose babies less than six months old to direct sunlight and take extra care with infants and young children.
  • There are over four thousand new cases of malignant melanoma every year. So if a mole grows larger, starts to bleed, ooze fluids or crust up, develop a ragged edge, changes shape, becomes very itchy or changes colour then you must see your doctor immediately.
  • The World Health Organisation states that sunbed use poses a risk of skin cancer, and that no person under 18 years of age should use a sunbed. Those over this age should use sunbeds with caution.
  • Sunburn can alter the distribution and function of disease-fighting white blood cells in humans for up to 24 hours after exposure to the sun. Obviously repeated overexposure to the sun and its UV radiation can cause more damage to the body's immune system. Even mild sunburns can directly suppress the immune functions of human skin where the sunburn occurred, even in people with dark skin.