Pick Me Up: Staying Safe In The Sun
Expert Health Advice
Dr Ross Perry, GP and Medical Director/Founder of Cosmedics Skin Clinics
A lot of us have been making the most of the change in weather and enjoying the sun. Pick Me Up’s feature looks at how to protect the skin from the damaging effects of the sun with skin cancer expert, Dr Ross Perry.
The article explains exactly what we need to do to protect ourselves and our families in the sunshine.
Dr Ross Perry was asked to advise on 5 key questions:
What should I look for in sunscreen?
“You should be aiming for a SPF of at least 30 to protect yourself against harmful rays.
“There will be a star indication for UVA which indicates it meets the EU standard and you need to be aiming for at least 4 stars when choosing a particular sunscreen.
“Most sunscreens last so if you’re using old sunscreen make sure it’s within date, with most having a shelf life of three years.
“Aim to buy what’s called a broad-spectrum SPF which basically means it protects the skin from both UVA and UVB rays.
“Even with a high SPF, if a sunscreen isn’t broad spectrum, you won’t be protected from all UVA rays.
“The UVA rays make up more than 90% of all UV radiation and penetrate clouds and glass, year-round, so my advice is to wear SPF daily even during the winter months.”
How can I protect my moles?
“The best advice is to stay out of the sun altogether which sometimes isn’t realistic so it’s important to keep protected.
“Wear a minimum of SPF 30 and make sure it’s broad spectrum. Wear loose clothing, a wide brimmed hat and protective eyewear. Stay in the shade and avoid the hottest time of the day. Reapply sunscreen every 2-3 hours and more frequently if you’re swimming or playing sports. Wearing a UV/rash vest can also help.
“It’s important to get a new or existing mole checked out if it changes shape or looks uneven, changes colour, gets darker, or has more than two colours, starts itching, crusting, flaking or bleeding, gets larger or more raised from the skin.”
How should I apply my SPF
“SPF only works as well as you apply it and if you do this regularly, especially if you’re in and out of the water or playing sport.
“I advise always a minimum of factor 30 or higher,especially for children. You should apply SPF at least 20 minutes before heading outside, remember the tricky areas such as soles of the feet, hairline, neck and in between the toes. When applying to your face, dot SPF directly onto your skin instead of squeezing a giant blob onto your hands and applying it. This helps it absorb more quickly and evenly.
“Coat your body and wait at least 10 mins before putting any clothes on as it needs time to be able to do its job.”
How should I deal with sunburn?
“Stay out of the sun completely and get in the shade. You can cool the skin with a cool shower or damp towel, but don’t let babies or children get too cold. Keep hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Apply after sun with added moisturiser, aloe vera or moisturiser with vitamins C & E. If you’re in pain, you can take paracetamol or ibuprofen and should wear loose, cotton clothing to avoid irritation.”
Does sunscreen prevent skin cancer?
“Wearing high factor SPF will help reduce skin cancer and delay the onset but it can’t prevent it altogether. It depends on your skin’s exposure to the sun long term. Just one sunburn can contribute towards getting skin cancer later on in life. Also, you may wear a high SPF but might not apply often enough or perhaps not distribute it evenly meaning you can still be at risk of burning and developing skin cancer. You are at higher risk if you have lots of moles, have fair skin, red or blonde hair.
“The most important thing to remember is no tan is a safe tan. It’s best to seek the shade, wear SPF and stay out the sun when it’s at its peak”
Pick Me Up
This article was published Issue 17, 23rd April. For more from Pick Me Up, please visit https://www.facebook.com/PickMeUpMag/
Dr Ross Perry
Dr Ross Perry is Founder and Medical Director of Cosmedics Skin Clinics.
He qualified at Guy’s & St Thomas’ Hospital Medical School in 1994. His career includes NHS skin cancer reconstruction, work as a GP, as well as private cosmetic skin treatments.
He established Cosmedics Skin Clinics in 2003 and remains in charge as Medical Director. He is best known for dealing with unwanted skin lesions and blemishes (e.g. moles, cysts, warts skin tags) and natural-looking use of non-surgical cosmetic injections (BOTOX® Anti-Wrinkle Injections and Facial Fillers) as well as sun damage.
He regularly advises the press on health matters and has special expertise on matters relating to the skin.
Cosmedics Skin Clinics
Cosmedics Skin Clinics was established in 2003 and has built up an excellent reputation for cosmetic and medical skin treatments, carried out by GMC Registered Doctors. The company offer a full range of cosmetic treatments, including popular lip enhancement and wrinkle relaxing injections, dermal fillers; plus medical treatments including mole removal, thread vein treatment and excessive sweating injections.
Cosmedics Skin Clinics has a team of skin treatment doctors and surgeons in their 5 skin clinics across London and Bristol led by Dr Ross Perry.
Call 020 7386 0464 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to book an appointment.
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