Sun care tips for you!

With summer around the corner we felt it would be a good idea to give some tips and advice on how to protect yourself from the sun and hot weather ! To some people protecting your body from the sun may not be seen as a priority but it absolutely should be as taking care of yourself is always important. You’re never too old or cool for protection! 

Use Sunscreen

Do not rely on sunscreen alone to protect yourself from the sun. Try to wear suitable clothing and spend time in the shade between 11 am and 3 pm as this is when the sun is at its hottest.  However when you are buying sunscreen it is important to make sure the label has:

  • a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30 to protect against UVB
  • at least 4-star UVA protection

UVA protection can also be indicated by the letters “UVA” in a circle, which indicates that it meets the EU standard.

 Most sunscreens have a shelf life of 2 to 3 years so make sure the sunscreen you are using is not past its shelf life date

Also, remember that sunscreen doesn’t make you invincible. Do not spend any longer in the sun than you would without sunscreen.

Buy more sunscreen than what you need

We understand that you may not have the luxury of being able to spend extra money on sunscreen bottles you may not end up using but if you do have the extra money to spare then we advise you do so. This is because according to the British skin foundation around 67% of Brits are not using enough sunscreen so it is likely that you also fall into that percentage. 

The recommended amount of sunscreen that should be applied is around 35ml (NHS) every time you apply it to your body. You need to take into account that you should be topping up your sunscreen throughout the day therefore there is a chance you could run through a bottle fairly quickly. Therefore to avoid the risk of having no protection try to stock up on sunscreen if possible.

Wear suitable clothing

Understand that sunscreen in some cases is not enough to protect you from being overexposed to the sun. It is important to take action to protect yourself from the sun as much as possible. An extra form of protection can be from how you dress on hot sunny days. 

  • Hats that have a brim wide enough to provide shade to the face
  • Sunglasses
  • Long T-shirts and long trousers or skirts that will not let sunlight through

Stay hydrated

Staying hydrated is important regardless no matter what time of year it is but it’s obviously more crucial during the hotter periods of the year due to potential problems such as dehydration. 

Dehydration is when your body loses an excessive amount of fluid compared to the amount of fluid that your body takes in. Symptoms of dehydration include thirst, dark and strong-smelling urine, dizziness, tiredness, dry mouth and eyes and peeing unusually less.  If dehydration is not treated it can escalate and become a serious problem. Prolonged dehydration could cause serious consequences on the body such as kidney failure seizures, fainting and in worse case scenarios even death. If you do find yourself feeling dehydrated the best way to sort it out is to hydrate yourself by drinking fluids but sometimes you may not want to drink too much because you are feeling sick or have been sick already. In this case, take smaller sips of water and gradually build up your tolerance again until you are comfortable drinking more.

  That’s why it’s important to make sure throughout the summer periods you have a water bottle on you at all times. It is recommended that your daily water intake is around 3 litres of water at least. In hotter weather, you may need to drink more than this so make sure you have access to water at all times. 

 

All the tips above will make sure you can enjoy your summer in the sun safely without giving yourself issues such as sunburn dehydration and also heat exhaustion and heat stroke etc. However, to be on the safe side I would like to cover what you should do if you unfortunately become a victim of the sun.

What to do if you get sunburn

If you unfortunately manage to get sun-burnt follow the steps below to help you relieve pain and heal the affected areas

 

  • get out of the sun and into a shaded/safe area as soon as possible

  • Bathe your body in cool water (cold bath or cold shower or gently use a cold wet towel to cool down the affected area 

  • apply aftersun relief products to the affected area 

  • Hydrate yourself with plenty of water to cool yourself down and stop dehydration

  • take painkillers, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen to ease the pain

  • hide the sun-burnt skin from sunlight until the affected area is healed again

Please do not put ice or ice packs on the burns as this can further aggravate the wound by burning it further. Also do not use petroleum jelly products, for example, Vaseline, on sunburns because it can block the pores and cause infections in the wound- It can also trap heat into an already burnt area. If you get a blister do not pop it. A blister will go by itself when the area is healed. Popping the blister will increase the likelihood of infection and also increase the time the wound takes to heal. Leave any peeling skin alone do not forcibly remove any and avoid wearing tight clothes over the burns to avoid further irritation.

What to do if you get heatstroke

Heatstroke happens when the body is in a state of heat exhaustion for too long. Heat exhaustion is usually not serious but if you leave it later than 30 mins that is when it gets serious and turns into heat stroke. Cool yourself down within 30 mins if you are suffering from heat exhaustion symptoms to prevent this. 

Symptoms of Heat Exhaustion include:

  • a headache
  • dizziness and confusion
  • loss of appetite and feeling sick
  • excessive sweating and pale, clammy skin
  • cramps in the arms, legs and stomach
  • fast breathing or pulse
  • a high temperature of 38C or above
  • being very thirsty

If you are suffering from these symptoms Cool yourself down ASAP by hydrating yourself, cooling down your skin with a wet sponge or spraying yourself with cold water or moving to a cool place.

However, if heat exhaustion turns into heat stroke it needs to be dealt with like an emergency. Call for medical help (999) if they are showing symptoms of heatstroke which are:

  • feeling unwell after 30 minutes even after resting in a cool place and drinking plenty of water
  • not sweating even while feeling too hot
  • a high temperature of 40C or above
  • fast breathing or shortness of breath
  • feeling confused
  • a fit (seizure)
  • loss of consciousness
  • not responsive
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