|Sun safety is required all year to keep you and your family healthy. Read below on ten sun protection myths that the Cancer Council has debunked which you may have believed to be true.|
- Sun damage is not possible on windy, cloudy or cool days.
This is false as you can get sun damage on windy, cloudy or cool days as the damage is caused by ultraviolet radiation (UV), not temperature. You can check out Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) daily to see when the UV is forecasted to be 3 or above when sun protection is required.
- A fake tan darkens the skin, protecting the skin from the sun.
Fake tan lotion does not improve your body’s ability to protect itself from the sun.
- Sunscreen is not necessary when using cosmetics with SPF.
This is false unless cosmetics are labelled with an SPF30 or higher rating, you should wear additional sunscreen under your makeup. For longer periods of time in the sun, use a separate sunscreen and reapply every 2 hours.
- People with olive skin are not at risk of skin cancer.
Regardless of skin type being exposed to UV radiation can cause the skin to be permanently damaged.
- You can stay in the sun longer when wearing SPF50+ rather than SPF30
This is false as no sunscreen is a suit of armour and sunscreen should never be used to extend the amount of time you spend in the sun. Sunscreen should still be applied every two hours when outside.
- Plenty of sun exposure is required to avoid vitamin D deficiency
Research suggests that prolonged sun exposure does not cause vitamin D levels to continue to increase further but does increase the risk of skin cancer. When UV levels are 3 and above Australians get enough vitamin D within just a few minutes of sun exposure.
- You do not have to be concerned about skin cancer because if it happens you will see it and it is easy to treat.
False. Skin cancer treatment can be much more serious than simply having a lesion ‘burnt off’. It can include surgery, chemotherapy and can result in permanent scarring. Each year more than 2000 Australians die of skin cancer.
- Only sun seekers get skin cancers.
Excessive sun exposure does not only happen when seeking a tan. High UV environments like Australia, exposure us to dangerous levels of UV during daily activities such as working outdoors, walking the dog or having a picnic. It all adds up to more risk.
- If you tan but don’t burn, you don’t need to bother with sun protection.
This is false as there is no such thing as a safe tan. If you tan easily, you are still at risk of skin cancer and need to use sun protection.
- You can’t get burnt in the car through a window.
You still can be burnt through a car or office window. Untinted glass windows commonly used in car side windows reduces but does not completely block transmission of UV radiation. Any tinting needs to include a UV block to be effective.
These debunked myths are great reminders to always remain sun safe, despite the temperature or being in a car, the UV radiation can still damage your skin.
If you are looking to have your skin checked, Reydon Street Medical Centre is here to help.