Whatever your skin colour, whether dark or fair you must protect your skin when out in the sun. A suntan
is a sign that your skin is protecting itself with the skin producing more pigment from UV radiation.
Sunburn is caused by over exposure to the sun with the skin becoming very red and painful and after a few
days the skin may peel. Skin can really suffer damage in the long term with over exposure to the sun.
Damage can include sagging and wrinkles as UV rays penetrate deep into the skin. Skin cancer is on the
rise but can be prevented with extra care when out in the sun. People may be more susceptible to skin
cancer than others, usually people with lots of moles. People who's skin has been badly burnt in the past
are also a higher risk. To prevent skin damage, it is advisable to stay out of the sun in the hours before
midday to the early afternoon. Try and cover up with trousers and long sleeves and consider wearing a wide
brimmed hat to protect both the head and the face. It is not always obvious but it is also important to
protect your eyes and eyelids. This can be done with sunglasses that have a UV protection of 100%.
Make sure that you apply a sunscreen that is 'broad spectrum' to protect skin against both UVA and UVB
rays and always wear sunscreen that has a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or above. Make sure you reapply
the sunscreen every two hours, perhaps even more regularly if you have been swimming. Even an indoor
tanning salon can put you at risk from UV rays.
You will often see messages that give the impression that UV-emitting tanning machines are safe. In
reality when you expose your skin to any UV rays - whether from the sun, sun lamps or tanning beds then you
are increasing your chances of getting skin cancer. Any exposure to UV rays can be harmful. Indeed, the
World Health Organization has upgraded their classification of UV emitting machines and devices like
tanning beds from a probable carcinogen to a known carcinogen or to put simply tanning beds are no longer
something we think could cause cancer, it has been proven to cause cancer.