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What we have to say about your health and well being
Aug 2014
Staying safe in the sun
Sunburn and the long term consequences of overexposure to the sun can largely be avoided by taking some simple precautions. First, let’s look at understanding sunscreens. Understanding Sun Protection Skin needs to be protected from both UVB and UVA rays, and all sun protection products should be clearly labelled with both an SPF and star rating. SPF stands for sun protection factor. The higher the SPF number, the better the protection from burning UVB rays. A high SPF of 50 is recommended for children at all times. For adults, a high SPF of at least 30 is recommended, particularly when first exposed to the sun, and for fair skinned people who do not tan easily. An SPF of at least 15 is recommended at all other times. Total Sunblock should be used on exposed and sensitive areas such as the nose, ears and lips. The star rating system indicates the level of a product's protection against UVA rays in relation to its protection against UVB rays. Although sunscreens with a high SPF factor allow a person to stay in the sun for longer, it does mean that the person is exposed to more UVA rays. This means the higher the SPF, the more UVA protection is needed to achieve the same amount of stars. So an SPF 30 sunscreen with three stars will have more UVA protection than an SPF 15 sunscreen with four stars. To protect skin from ageing and wrinkling, a product with at least four stars should be used. Useful Tips Stay out of the sun between 11am and 3pm, especially infants and children. The sun is at its most dangerous around this time of day, whatever the weather. Wear a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses with UV protection and a cotton t-shirt. Take extra care with children. Keep babies under one year of age out of the sun completely. Toddlers and older children should wear protective clothing such as t-shirts and a hat even when swimming, and should be encouraged to play in the shade. Use a sunscreen with a SPF50 for babies and children all of the time. For adults, start with a high SPF product on the first days of the holiday and, if you want to do so, gradually reduce the SPF rating as the natural tan develops. Use a sunscreen with a SPF of at least 15 and at least a 3 star UVA rating on areas which cannot be covered. Reapply sunscreen liberally and frequently, particularly if you are swimming or sweating excessively. Never allow your skin to burn. Avoid use of sun lamps and sun beds; use fake tans instead. If sunburnt, take a cool shower and later cover-up with loose, cotton clothes Make sure that everyone, especially babies and children, have plenty to drink to avoid the risk of dehydration. Edited from: SunSmart, Cancer Research UK's skin cancer information and sun protection advice web pages provide useful facts and advice on preventing sunburn and enjoying the sun safely. www.sunsmart.org.uk We have a large selection of sunscreens available in the shop and from our on-line shop at www.hopwoodspharmacy.co.uk
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