As temperatures hit record highs in the UK, Africa, Canada and Japan everyone is now asking how long will this hot weather last? And at the moment there seems to be no end in sight, for part of the UK at least. With this in mind, it’s important to make sure you avoid over-exposure to the sun.
The British Association of Dermatologists (BAD) report that the lowest factor you should be using on your skin is SPF 15, however SPF 30 or 50 is recommended to stop sun damage in the current climate.
As more and more Brits plan to take a staycation this Summer due to the glorious weather it’s important to remember to pack ample sun lotion as one of your holiday essentials.
If you plan to spend time in the sun, you must ensure you are using the right amount of sun lotion. SPF ratings are based on the measurement of a 2mg ‘blob’ covering 1sqcm of skin and the recommended amount for application over an adult body is at least six full teaspoons (36g). When applying sun cream the areas to focus on are the face, neck, ears, hands and feet as they get more sun exposure than any other body part.
Despite some well-known sun cream brands stating that they are ‘water resistant’, it is important to re-apply sun cream immediately after swimming or sweating as the protective layer will have worn off.
As well as applying sun cream regularly, it is also recommended you take shade breaks between 12noon and 3pm so you can shelter from the stronger UV rays. The strength of the sun’s rays increases by 5% if you are near water and 17% if you are near sand, so if you are spending the day at the beach make sure you have a parasol or access to a shaded area. Also, drink plenty of water and if going out for the day, be sure to take water with you.
Over exposure to the sun can cause burns and blistering to skin as well as other symptoms such as sun stroke and sickness. Although we have the NHS in the UK, if you are heading abroad to Europe, remember your European Health Card (EHIC) is not replacement for travel insurance, so you should ensure you have taken out a suitable travel insurance policy to cover medical expenses and any nursing care and medication required.