Stay Safe in the Sun – The Purity Bridge guide

It never does any harm being reminded about staying safe in the sun – our Consultant Plastic Surgeons deal with skin cancer and the effects of sun-induced ageing on a day-to-day basis, so we are very mindful about prevention!

Excessive sun exposure can cause sunburns and even on cloudy days the sun can still damage your skin.  This causes damage to skin which can lead to skin cancers in later years, as well as premature ageing.  The most common types of skin cancer are basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma.  These cancers frequently occur on the body parts that are exposed to the sun such as the face and hands.  The effects of sun exposure are cumulative on skin over your lifetime so it is important to be sun-aware no matter what age you are. The sooner you start being sun-safe, the better!

A less common but more deadly type of skin cancer is melanoma. Sunburns have been associated with an increased risk of developing melanoma.  The number of people diagnosed with melanoma in the UK is on the increase and so too is the number of young adults being diagnosed with melanoma.  This is possibly as a result of an increased ability to take sun holidays compared to times past but sun damage to your skin can still occur with the sun levels that we get here in the UK.

A few simple steps can help protect your skin. Here is what we advise:

  1. Limit your sun exposure between 11 am and 3 pm to avoid the most potent exposure to ultraviolet rays.
  2. Wear a hat or long-sleeved protective clothing when outside and shelter in natural shade to protect your skin from excessive sun exposure – this will not be at the detriment of your vitamin D production, which is stimulated by sunlight.
  3. Use a sunscreen of factor 30 or higher to also help shield your skin and prevent sun damage.  Sunscreens need to be reapplied regularly especially when in and out of water. Ensure your sunscreen not only has a good Spf rating (factor) but also a good star rating (4 or 5) to protect you from UVA rays too.
  4. If in doubt about a skin blemish or mole – seek advice!
Purity Bridge Team