20 May 2016

Sun awareness and sun safety

The Dermatology team at Eastbourne DGH has been promoting sun awareness and sensible sun safety with a colourful display stand during sun awareness week. They were also giving out the message to enjoy the sun but protect yourself against the sun’s potentially harmful UVA and UVB rays.

Sun awareness and safety - Dermatology Team

The Dermatology Team L-R Dr Susannah George, Gemma Reeves, Julie Sherwood, Andrea Cooper, Dr Anita Amin, Dr Jan Von der Werth and Chris Coombe

Every day, no matter how careful we are, our skin is exposed to sunlight. The profound effect that sunlight or ultraviolet light (UV) has on skin, is to damage it. Short term, it causes sunburn but longer-term effects can be premature ageing, pigmentation and more serious skin cancer.

Dermatology Nurse Specialist, Andrea Cooper explained: “Our skin needs to be protected from April to late September between 11am and 3pm in the UK. If people are outside during these times walking, gardening, playing sports or any other outdoor activity, they need to be aware they are at risk of damaging their skin.

“We want to remind people that, in this area, we have some of the highest amounts of sunshine in the South and we want everyone to remember not to get caught out and take steps to not let your skin burn or to develop a deep tan.”

To help protect ourselves, shade and protective clothing should be used as well applying sunscreen. When choosing a sunscreen, look for a high protection SPF (minimum SP30) to protect against UVB rays from the sun, which causes sunburn. The UVA circle and/or 4 or 5 UVA stars, to protect against UVA rays, which cause skin aging and sun damage. Sunscreen should be applied generously 15 to 30 minutes before going out and reapply every two hours and straight after swimming and towel drying. Everyone should be encouraged to protect their skin with closely woven clothing, wear sun hats to protect the face, ears and neck and sunglasses which filter UV, will help protect the eyes.