Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world. Two in three Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer by the age of 70.
Exposing your skin to too much sun can lead to damage caused by UV radiation in sunlight, so it is important to take steps to reduce the sun exposure you receive each day, even on cool and cloudy days.
What are the physical effects of insufficient sun care?
Excess UV radiation from sunlight can cause damage, including:
How can I protect myself from the harmful effects of the sun?
To achieve appropriate protection from the sun and UV radiation, ensure you combine these methods of sun care whenever you are outside in the sun:
The Cancer Council recommends using sunscreen every day on days when the UV index is forecast to be 3 or above. Sunscreen needs to be applied 20 minutes before going outside and then reapplied every two hours if spending time outside and also after sweating, swimming, or towel drying.
Sun protection and babies
It is essential that babies are well protected from the sun. Babies should be kept away from direct sunlight when the sun is at its strongest (when UV levels are 3 or above) and utilise shade, protective clothing, and a hat. The use of sunscreen is not recommended for babies under six months of age.
Vitamin D and the Sun
Vitamin D can be obtained naturally from some foods and it also forms in the skin when it is exposed to sunlight. We need Vitamin D to maintain healthy muscle and bones. Most people obtain adequate Vitamin D levels just by spending a few minutes outdoors on most days of the week. If you are concerned about your Vitamin D levels, consult your pharmacist or doctor for advice on Vitamin D supplements.
How your pharmacist can help
Your pharmacist can help you select the most appropriate sunscreen to protect you and your family. You can find your nearest PharmaSave Pharmacy here.