As the sun starts to come out, it’s important to get into good habits when it comes to skin care. We spoke to Dr Catherine Borysiewicz, Consultant Dermatologist at King Edward VII’s Hospital, for top tips on staying safe in the sun.
1) Aim for at least SPF 30 sunscreen whatever your skin type
Everyone – regardless of skin type – should be opting for a broad-spectrum UV protection sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 and at least 4-star UVA protection, which should be applied at least 30 minutes before going outside. It is recommended you re-apply sunscreen at least every two hours to ensure you are getting maximum protection.
2) Cover your whole body
When applying sun cream, people tend to apply to their face, arms, and chest, but can often forget to protect other parts of their body like their eyelids, scalps, and feet, but these can still burn like any other part of the body. Use sun cream all over your body, and cover up with light clothing, hats, and sunglasses to boost your protection when out and about
3) Don’t spend too long in direct sunlight
During the summer, the sun tends to be hottest and at its most dangerous between the hours of 11am and 3pm. Aim to seek cover in the shade at these points of the day, and drink plenty of fluids, to keep yourself hydrated and avoid the risk of getting heat stroke.
4) Use cool water if you do get sunburnt
If you do happen to unfortunately get sunburnt, sponge sore skin with cool water, and then apply after sun to help reduce irritation. Painkillers, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen, will also help ease the pain by helping to reduce inflammation caused by sunburn.
5) Be vigilant if you have moles
Those with lot of moles, need to be extra vigilant in the sun, as the UV rays from the sunlight can cause moles to become cancerous. Regularly check your moles and if their appearance has changed in terms of size or texture, book an appointment with your GP to assess them. King Edward VII’s Hospital offer a comprehensive Mole Mapping Health Check for just £595
- If you are concerned about skin cancer, or you have a mole or lump that is changing shape or colour or you have a skin lesion or patch of discolouration that won’t heal, make an appointment to see your GP straight away. (Don’t have a GP?)
- The Kind Edward VII’s Hospital Dermatology Department offers specialised skin cancer treatments including non-surgical treatments and those that minimise skin loss and scarring.