Published on Jun 13, 2017
It’s not just in hot weather and holidays abroad that your skin needs protecting from harmful rays. It is important to take care of your skin every day when you are out and about this summer as you can burn in the UK, even when it’s cloudy and there’s a breeze.
Sunburn can be very painful and potentially dangerous, and exposure to too much sun can also increase your risk of getting skin cancer, so it is important you take steps to protect yourself and your family, especially young children and babies whose skin is very sensitive and delicate.
When the sun’s rays are at their strongest, between 11am and 3pm from March to October here in the UK, people need to seek shade. Remember, it does not have to be bright sunshine and you can still burn on cloudy overcast days.
To stay safe, make sure you:
- spend time in the shade between 11am and 3pm
- make sure you never burn
- cover up with suitable clothing and sunglasses
- take extra care with children
- use sunscreen of at least factor 15
Remember, a suntan does not protect your skin and there are similar health risks associated with sunbeds and other UV tanning equipment.
The Teenage Cancer Trust recently discovered that worryingly nearly 2/3 (61%) of young people aged 13-24 have avoided using sunscreen in order to get a better tan.
Dr Rakesh Pathak, local GP and member of the NHS North East Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) explained, “It’s important that we all take care of our skin in the sun, and it is crucial that people keep young children and babies protected on a daily basis even if it’s cloudy. The sun’s rays can be dangerous even hidden by cloud cover and it’s the damage done to young skin that can lead to skin cancer developing in later life, so it's vital to be aware of and fully understand the dangers and protect yourself.”
If you do get burned:
- Sponge sore skin with cool water, then apply soothing aftersun or calamine lotion.
- Painkillers, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen, will ease the pain by helping to reduce inflammation caused by sunburn.
- Seek medical help if you feel unwell or the skin swells badly or blisters. Stay out of the sun until all signs of redness have gone.
For more advice on avoiding sunburn and staying safe in the sun speak to a pharmacist or visit http://www.nhs.uk/livewell/skin/pages/sunsafe.aspx
For further information contact the North East Lincolnshire CCG Communications Team on 03300 249301.