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How to protect skin from sun? Solar protection

Is the sun harmful to health?

The Sun is the origin of life and who maintains it on Earth. Therefore, the vast majority of its effects on us are beneficial. In particular, it is a fundamental source of vitamin D , so exposure to the sun should not be drastically avoided, but rather its excess should be avoided.

Outdoor activities are beneficial for physical health and promote social relationships and communication.

But… BEWARE OF THE SUN!

Why is solar radiation dangerous?

Solar radiation, in addition to other effects, can cause burns. These increase the risk of skin cancer. The youngest children are the most vulnerable.

Ultraviolet radiation, A (UVA) and especially B (UVB), are responsible for the harmful effects of the sun. Among them, the ability to trigger skin cancers such as melanoma.

The population at greatest risk of skin cancer is that which has one or more of the following characteristics:

  • Very white skin (they burn easily and almost never get brown), usually blond or red-haired.

  • Family history of skin cancer.

  • Having been exposed to the sun often in the first years of life.

  • “Rare” moles ( nevus ) or in large numbers.

  • Have many freckles.

How can sunburn and other harmful effects of the sun be prevented?

1. Do not abuse the sun.

  • Do not spend a lot of time in the sun in the middle of the day (beware of heat stroke !).
  • Look for shady places.

2. Wear clothing that covers the skin (sleeved shirts and Bermuda-type pants) and hats and caps with brims.

3. Wear sunglasses that have an ultraviolet filter (UVA and UVB).

4. Apply photoprotective creams with a protection factor of 15 or higher on exposed skin areas. The cream should never be the only protection measure.

  • Sun creams must be water resistant and protect from both UVA and UVB.

  • They should be applied before exposure to the sun and every two or four hours. Depending on the time of day, intensity of the sun, skin type and number of water baths. Consider the enhancing effect of reflective surfaces, such as water, snow, pavement, or sand.

  • In children under 6 months of age , if sustained sun exposure is unavoidable, there is controversy regarding the recommendation to use protective cream.

The type of photoprotection measures recommended individually and their intensity will depend on the type of skin you have (table I).

Table I. Sun protection according to skin type

Type of skin

Skin color

Prevention type

I

Very white skin (always burns and never tans) Avoid exposure at midday and wear long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, and a hat. Water resistant photoprotector (factor 15 or higher) daily in summer and also in case of exposure

II

White skin (he always burns and tans little) Minimize sun exposure at midday. Protective clothing and photoprotective factor (factor 15 or more) if there is exposure

III

Light brown skin (sometimes burns and always tans) Intense exposure: same as type 2. Moderate exposure: photoprotector factor 10-15

IV

Brown skin (does not usually burn) Intense exposure: photoprotector factor 10-15

v

Dark brown skin (very rarely burns) Does not usually need protection

SAW

Very dark brown or black skin (never burns) don’t need protection

 

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