Australia and New Zealand have some of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world, which makes prevention the best way to protect yourself from damage to your skin. At Norton Skin Cancer Clinic we believe that it is vital that preventative measures become a regular part of your daily routine and are observed in all seasons, including autumn and winter.
Skin cancer is caused by exposure to the sun and the dangerous UV radiation that it produces. With this is mind here are some important preventative measures you can take to protect yourself and stay safe when venturing outside.
- Be aware of the daily UV index
Look for the UV index online and be aware of how it might fluctuate throughout the day. The UV index is a measure of the intensity of dangerous UV radiation at any particular moment, and can be a good guide to understanding when it might be safe to spend time outdoors. UV radiation can be high on both hot and cold days, as well as when the sky is cloudy or clear, so the UV index will give you a clear measure of how much damage you might be exposing yourself to. When reading the UV index, a measure of 1 or 2 is generally considered a safe level of exposure. Anything above 3 however is considered damaging to the skin and should be an important factor in how you protect yourself that day.
- Stay out of the sun when it is strongest
A good rule to follow is to stay out the sun when it is at its peak, which is generally between 11am and 3pm daylight savings time. This is when UV radiation is at its highest and puts you at the greatest risk. Instead try to do outdoor activities outside of these hours.
- Make slip, slop, slap, seek and slide a regular part of your day
While often taught to children in schools, slip, slop slap, seek and slide is a great way to remember what is required for proper sun protection.
- Slip on some protective clothing. Protective clothing is specially made to provide cover from the sun. It is best to look for a UPF rating of 50+, however, if this is not possible then you should try and find clothing that has a thick weave and covers as much of the skin as possible.
- Slop on SPF 30+ sunscreen. Sunscreen should be applied at least 30 minutes before going outside and reapplied every 2 hours while outdoors.
- Slap on a hat. Hats should be broad rimmed and cover as much of the face and neck as possible.
- Seek shade. Look to get out of the sun as much as you can, particularly at peak hours.
- Slide on a pair of sunglasses. These sunglasses should be designed to protect your eyes from UV radiation.
Get your skin checked
Even if you take the proper precautions you should perform regular self-checks of your skin and get a professional examination once a year. If you are looking to book an appointment for a professional skin check then call Norton Skin Cancer Clinic on 02 8459 0010 and get your skin checked today.