National Sun Awareness Week

three students sitting on the stairs of a building, enjoying the sun

Gone is 5pm darkness, the sun is out and the weather is refreshing (most of the time)! We’re all glad the sun has returned, but we need to take extra care of ourselves with its return.

That’s why National Sun Awareness Week is here to shed light on the dangers of prolonged exposure to the sun.

National Sun Awareness Week (May 1st – May 7th) is a campaign chaired by the British Association of Dermatologists (BAD). It focuses on educating individuals about the dangers of too much sun exposure and how to practice sun safety to properly enjoy it.

While the sun is a great source of vitamin D, it’s also a source of UV radiation which is the main cause of skin cancer which can be prevented by wearing sunscreen and clothes that offer adequate sun protection. Contrary to popular belief, sun protection is a necessity in the United Kingdom, even in winter!

Today’s blog looks at some myths, dangers and safety measure when it comes to the sun.

Here are some debunked myths about sun protection:

  • Sun damage is not possible on cloudy days
  • People with darker skin tones are not at risk of skin cancer and don’t need sunscreen
  • Fake tan protects the skin from the sun
  • You need lots of sun exposure to avoid vitamin D deficiency
  • You can’t get burnt in the car/your home through a window
  • Tanning is safe as long as you don’t burn

Moving on to the dangers of too much sun exposure:

  • Increased risk of skin cancer (melanoma and nonmelanoma)
  • Premature aging (could be in the form of wrinkles, sun spots and others)
  • Cataracts and other types of eye damage

Finally, here are some ways to protect yourself from the sun:

  • Apply sunscreen before going out and reapply when you can (minimum spf 30 is recommended)
  • Wear weather appropriate protective clothing e.g sun hats and sun glasses/tinted glasses
  • Relax in the shade regularly
  • Limit your time in the sun between 10am and 4pm as these are considered peak hours

We hope you enjoy the sunshine and keep yourself safe in the shade!

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