Summer is almost here in Australia and for many people, this means escaping to the local beach (if you are lucky) with sea breezes and warm weather. If this is you, be sure you’re prepared for the dangerous UV rays that accompany the sea, sun and sand. Sun safety is extremely important so we have gathered some tips and tricks to help you this summer.
The best offence is a good defence! Sunscreen can take up to 15 minutes to sink into your skin and offer optimal protection so ensure that you apply it before you get out into the sun. Experts recommend the use of SPF 30 to SPF 50 sunscreen. Sunscreen is not the only precautionary device. Being sun safe also means wearing a hat, sunnies and appropriate clothing. So if you have been stuck in lockdown for the past few months and have not had much exposure to the sun, then get ready and get that sunscreen on before heading outdoors.
Use a moisturizer that contains aloe vera or soy to help soothe sunburned skin. This can not only help ease the pain but can help to keep skin moisturized and minimize peeling. If a particular area feels especially uncomfortable, you may want to apply a hydrocortisone cream that you can buy from your local pharmacy without a prescription.
Drink extra water. Sunburn draws fluid to the skin’s surface and away from the rest of the body. Therefore it is important to drink extra water when you are sunburned to help prevent dehydration.
If your skin blisters, allow the blisters to heal. Blistering skin means you have a second-degree sunburn. You should not pop the blisters, as blisters form to help your skin heal and protect you from infection. You can place cold, damp compresses on the blisters to take some of the heat out of your skin.
Take extra care to protect sunburned skin while it heals. Wear appropriate clothing that covers your skin when outdoors. As well as applying sunscreen to the burn so that no further damage can be done.
The Melanoma Institute Australia has set out the ABCDE Guidelines so that individuals can assess their skin. However this is a just a guide and melanoma can present with different characteristics which is why it is important to speak to a professional.
A – Asymmetry: One half of a mole or birthmark does not match the other.
B – Border irregularity: the edges of the mark are irregular, ragged, notched or blurred.
C – Colour Variation: The colour is not the same all over. It may have differing shades of black or brown as well as patches of red, white or blue.
D – Diameter: The area of the mark is larger than 6mm (size of a pencil eraser) or larger.
E – Evolving: The mark is changing in size, shape, colour or elevation
If you are worried about your sunburn or have any questions about other skin related issues speak to one of our doctors online today!