Skin Cancer Prevention
Living in the NT means a lot of exposure to intense sun rays. The best way to stay out of skin cancer’s way is by following the recommended steps to protect yourself. By protecting yourself you’ll not only heighten your chances of avoiding skin cancer altogether, you’ll also reduce your risk of developing vision impairment through UV ray exposure and you’ll have younger, smoother looking skin for longer!
Slip into lightweight, sun protective clothing that covers as much of your skin as possible. Any part of your body that is exposed to the sun heightens your risk of skin cancer. Try so select clothing that:
- Has long sleeves and legs for maximum coverage
- Is made from tightly woven fabric such as polyester, cotton or linen
- Is dark in colour for maximum UV absorption. Lighter fabrics actually reflect the sun onto your skin
Slop on some broad-spectrum UVA & UVB sunscreen with a minimum 30+ SPF. Your sunscreen should be water resistant whether you plan on swimming or not, as sweat can cause your sunscreen to drip off. If you work outside and find yourself wiping the sweat from your face often, you’ll need to reapply it often. Always carry a small tube of sunscreen in your pocket, handbag or backpack for reapplication.
Slap on a hat. The best kind of hat for the sun should have a wide brim and be made from a fabric or material without holes or gaps. This kind of hat will not only protect your scalp but the back of your neck, your face, your ears, your eyes and your lips. Hats only protect against UVA rays so be sure to wear broad spectrum sunscreen regardless to protect yourself from UVB rays.
Seek shaded areas. Wherever you are, try to spend as mich time as possible in shaded areas. Trees, buildings, umbrellas and awnings are good places to spend your time nearby. If you don’t have access to shade then bring your own umbrella as a backup. It’s best to try and stay out of direct sunlight as much as possible between the hours of 10am and 4pm as this is when the sun’s rays are at their strongest.
Slide on some sunglasses – but not just any sunglasses. You should always wear UV protected sunglasses that meet the Australian Standard AS/NZS1067:2003. Check the swing tag on any sunglasses you buy for this standard. Wearing anything else is equal to not wearing any sunglasses at all. In fact, when we were non-protective eyewear we are more likely to look directly at or near the sun as we are under the impression our eyes are protected, but you’re actually opening yourself up to severe eye damage.
What skin type do you have?
Different skin types can be far more susceptible to skin cancer than other skin types. Understand your skin and ensure you protect yourself accordingly. Use the chart below to identify your skin type and use the appropriate preventative measures.
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