Important tips to help prevent skin cancer:
- Try and avoid prolonged periods out in the sun during the middle of the day (10am to 4pm) when UV rays are the strongest.
- Wear protective clothing. This includes a hat with a brim to shade your ears and neck, a shirt with sleeves to cover your shoulders and arms. The best fabric for skin protection has a tight weave to keep sunlight out. Wear sunglasses with an EPF of 10 or make sure that they comply with the Australian Standard 1067.
- Use a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30+ if you have to go into the sun. Look for a sunscreen that protects against both types of ultraviolet radiation in the sun’s rays-UVA and UVB and apply this 20 minutes before going outside and re-apply regularly (approximately every two hours). Water resistant sunscreen is the best when being active or around water. Remember to cover all exposed skin as water reflects UV rays.
- Use a higher SPF when you are at higher elevations, where UV is more intense.
- Set a good example for your children by always using sunscreen and wearing protective clothing.
- Keep newborns out of the sun! A baby's skin is sensitive and can burn easily. Use an age appropriate sunscreen if outdoors as well as protective clothing and shade.
- Avoid sunbathing and tanning salons. Studies suggest that UV rays from artificial sources such as tanning beds and sunlamps are just as dangerous as those from the sun. Tanning salons have now been banned in all states of Australia due to their proven link to melanoma.
How much sun is enough?
Cancer Council's Sunsmart App
Download the SunSmart app to your phone and it lets you know when you do and don't need sun protection, tailored to your location, making it easier than ever to be smart about your sun exposure all year.