Safe Ways to Soak in Vitamin D – The Ultimate Guide to Staying Sun Safe
Like most Aucklanders, you’re probably a fan of family BBQs and getting out on Waitamata Harbour during sunny weather. Although before hitting the park, the water or the beach, it’s wise to think about protecting yourself and your family from the sun.
Research reveals that an episode of severe sunburn during one’s childhood or teenage years can increase the risk of skin cancer later in life, and also that there is a cumulative risk of sun damage and sun burn over time. The good news is that you can take a proactive approach to protecting yourself and your family. That way you can still get a happiness-inducing soaking of Vitamin D, without the attendant risk of skin cancer.
Sun Safe Tips
Limit your sun exposure
The sun is particularly potent between the hours of 10 am – 4pm. Position the BBQ and the table under the verandah or under a tree canopy to avoid incidental sun exposure during the sun’s intense hours.
Choose the right sunscreen
There is a broad range of sunscreens available in New Zealand. However, you should look for one that offers the broad spectrum protection. This means it will protect you from UVA and UVB rays, at least SPF 30 or higher. This makes the sunscreen ideal for long days outside or incidental exposure.
Keep a large bottle of sunscreen visible at home
This should be your go-to best friend throughout the year. Keep a large bottle of sunscreen on the kitchen bench and get everyone in the family in the habit of lathering some on in the morning before leaving for school and work. Don’t forget that in New Zealand, the sun is still potent and able to damage the skin during the colder months, so use sunscreen every day of the year for protection.
Keep a bottle in the car
Did you know that the sun penetrates through your car window and can still burn you and cause damage? To remedy this, keep a bottle handy in the car and apply once every four hours if you intend on taking a long car journey.
The great melanin myth
One myth it’s important to dispel, is that people with dark skin are immune to getting melanoma. Darker skin has a greater presence of melanin in the skin. This means that darker skinned people won’t get the same level of burn associated with sun exposure. However, people with darker skin are still vulnerable to skin damage. Due to this pervasive myth, dark skinned people may not actually get their skin checked. So skin cancer is typically diagnosed at an advanced stage.
Everyone loves to get outside and soak in the sun’s joyful rays; however, sun protection should be built into your family’s daily routine. Normalise it and everybody wins and maintains healthy skin throughout their lives.
Do you have a mole or sun spot that you’re concerned about? Speak with Claris Group’s skin doctors today.