Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world
The majority of these skin cancers are caused by exposure to UV Radiation in sunlight. Sunburn, or just repeated exposure – even on cool or overcast days – can still cause damage to skin cells.
The best preventative for you and your family is to protect your skin in 5 key ways:
1. SLIP – on sun protective clothing which covers as much skin as possible – boardies and rashies on the beach are a great start!
2. SLOP – on a broad spectrum, water resistant, SPF30+ sunscreen. This needs to be dona at least 20 minutes before heading outside and you will need to re-apply every 2 hours.
3. SLAP – on a hat that protects your head, face, neck and ears.
4. SEEK – Shade particularly between the hours of 10am and 2pm.
5. SLIDE – On some sunglasses rated UV 400 or EPF 9+
By following these steps you can still enjoy the great outdoors, whilst minimising the risk of melanoma.
A new standard allowing manufacturers to increase the sun protection factor in sunscreens from SPF30+ to SPF50+ and adding improved UVA protection was announced recently.
The new SPF50+ sunscreen only offers marginally better protection from UVB radiation, which causes sunburn and adds to skin cancer risk. SPF50+ filters out 98% of UVB radiation compared to 96.7% blocked by SPF30.
It needs to be applied just as generously and using the above five mentioned steps is still required for optimum sun protection.
There is no need to throw away your current sunscreen. Cancer Council recommends using any sunscreen of at least SPF30 which is labelled as being water-resistant and broad-spectrum.
The new standard applies to new products only and is simply a little better, and offers more choice. We here at Quirindi Pharmacy keep a wide range of sunscreens including Nivea, Ego Sunsense, Hamilton, Neutrogena (including the new “Wet Skin” range), Banana Boat and the Cancer Council.