Practical sun protection advice is very important in minimising skin cancer and melanoma in Australia.
Quality sun protective clothing and a hat provide a majority of your sun protection. Choose tightly woven threads which minimise sun penetration through your clothing, wear loose fitting long sleeves, wear your collar up and a broad brim hat – and you are off to a great start. Take an umbrella or sun tent to the beach. Wear a rash vest in and out of the water.
Check the UV index each day on you smart phone. If the UV index is greater than 3, the sun’s rays are harsh and you need to be attentive to sun protection and avoiding the sun by seeking shade. In Perth the UV index is above 3 between 10am and 2pm most days of the year. Choose to exercise outdoors early in the morning and/or later in the evening when the UV index is lowest.
Do not actively seek a sun tan. Do not use tanning beds. The best way to keep your skin looking youthful is to protect it from the sun. You can achieve adequate Vitamin D levels easily without any need for increased sun exposure or tanning, which may put you at risk of developing skin cancer and melanoma. Some sun is healthy, just be smart and sensible about it.
Use sunscreen properly. If the sunscreen on your skin gets wet you need to reapply this, for example, when at the beach and swimming, each time you swim you need to reapply your sunscreen. Put your sunscreen on thickly not thinly. Don’t forget to apply sunscreen to your ears, lips, part line in your hair. Use an SPF 50+ sunscreen. If you have sensitive skin try using a physical sunscreen containing zinc or titanium dioxide. Children may wear sunscreen from age 6 months.
You dermatologist at Perth Dermatology Clinic will provide you with practical advice for the Australian climate in which we live.