In the heat of the day…
…the optimum time for Sunburn and Heat Exhaustion), be wise and do what the locals do. Relax and take it easy!
Don’t go on that hike around the city’s tourist attractions in the heat of the mid day sun. Save that for early evening when it cools down a bit! Try and wear a hat, and remember to drink plenty of water. If you don’t keep yourself hydrated then you can become light headed and nauseated. Your body will struggle to regulate its temperature, causing sweats, fainting and sometimes convulsions.
Both heatstroke and heat exhaustion can be dangerous. So at the first signs of fatigue, headache or dizziness (due to fluid loss) take medical advice and drink some water, but remember, small slow sips. Remember – always respect the sun and always have water, not ice-cold to hand.
Suncare – Enjoy the sun safely
You have endured hundreds of grey days waiting for the chance to go on holiday, stretch out in the sun and get that all-important tan. So here are some ideas on what happens exactly to your poor pale body when the sun hits it!
So, what happens in sunshine?
It is a fabulous source of vitamin D, its makes you feel happy, relaxed and that the world just can’t get any better….but too much of a good thing really can be dangerous where the power of the sun is concerned! The sun gives off powerful ultraviolet (UV) radiation waves. Sounds serious, yes? And it can be. The rays that tan (and can burn and cause skin cancer) are known as UVB and UVA.
What happens when you tan? Why take it gently?
Sunshine makes skin develop melanin, a natural substance, which provides a small amount of protection. It is melanin that causes the skin to change colour, which results in a tan. Everyone has differing levels of melanin. Naturally dark skinned people have more, whilst pale people with freckles tend to have less.
The important thing is, that whatever level you are, melanin still takes time to ‘kick in’. You will only start to see the result from your day of sunbathing 24-36 hours later! This is why you just can not get a tan in a couple of days. No matter how long you stay out! However, you will get sunburn very quickly without the correct levels of protection.
So take it easy, especially in the first few days when your skin is still taking time to develop the melanin. Know your skin type and accommodate it. Sunburn is painful and whilst we all know it can lead to cancer, so can sunbathing too much year after year.
Now the science – UVB rays hit the surface of the skin and start a reaction within 15 minutes, this then continues developing for up to 72 hours following exposure. Whilst UVA rays penetrate deep into the skin and cause lasting damage…..Yes girls, these are the rays that give you wrinkles! They also, scarily, can lay the groundwork for future cases of skin cancer.
How can you make it safer?
You already know the common sense measures you can take, hopefully now you understand a little more about the science of it all. Hopefully you will be prompted to follow all the advise you’ve learned
- RESPECT THE SUN
- Keep babies out of direct sunlight and, even in the shade they should have sun screen applied. The sun can still penetrate through most sunshades.
- Make sure children always Slip, Slap, Slop. SLip on a long sleeved top, SLAP on a hat, and SLOP on a high factor sunscreen, oh and sunglasses would not go amiss either!
- Do not use sunscreen with less than a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15. Re-apply it regularly and always after swimming.
- There is a voluntary star system for UVA protection in sunscreens – more stars mean more protection
- Remember to apply more cream to areas where the skin is thinner, e.g. tops of ears and feet, lips, nose, boobs, and shoulders.
- The sun’s effects can be magnified on water, so use a water-resistant cream and re-apply after taking a dip. For those active all day, specialist sun screens are available that are more durable.
FOLLOW A FEW SIMPLE RULES
- Check the expiry date on any sun screen left over from last years holiday, as the effectiveness lessens over time. If you have sensitive skin and need a particular type of lotion always get it before you depart, just in case you can’t get it at the resort.
- Sun rays can get through thin fabrics and bounce off sand or water. So, always make sure you apply sunscreen, even if you are sitting in the shade. This is especially true for children.
- Buy a good quality pair of sunglasses that block the UV rays. Not only are they good for the image, they can also help protect from sun glare.
- Get into the habit of checking your position when sunbathing and NEVER sleep in the sun, no matter how relaxed it makes you feel.