It’s hot here now, and with that generally comes either buckets of sunscreen or aching sunburn. If you don’t fancy either then we’ll see you in October.
It’s a serious problem in Mallorca. A local dermatologist has seen 10 cases of melanoma in the past month. But is anyone taking it seriously yet?
It’s pretty simple stuff really to protect yourself from the sun. Buy some sunblock, apply. Continue to apply. Put on some more. Repeat.
How do you know when to apply though? Firstly, put it on before you leave the house, about 20 to 30 mins before you’re off out. And then once you’ve been in the sun for about 30 mins, put the block on again. Then you need to go by the SPF factor on the bottle. SPF means Sun Protection Factor – the World Health Organisation, and other similar organisations, say that the maximum amount of time we can spend outside in the sun without protection is 10 minutes. The SPF means that you can stay in the sun for 10 minutes times the SPF level – so if you’ve got SPF 15 that means you can stay in the sun for 10 x 15 = 150 mins, or 2 1/2 hours. Then you need to bung more of the goo on, or go indoors. Honest it’s as simple as that.
Make sure you take particular care on your face, your chest, and your hands as these areas are all vulnerable to the sun and are age quickly. Also, don’t spray perfume onto your chest as it acts as a magnifying glass for the sun and can mean you burn there even more – spray perfume onto an area which is not necessarily exposed to the sun, like your tummy for example if you’re going to be wearing a top for the day.
Keeping on top of your kids’ sun protection is vital – a serious sun burn before the age of 18 can increase the risks of skin cancer by 50%. That’s pretty serious. We slather our daughter (who is blond, blue eyed and very fair) in very high factor sunblock – 60SPF when she goes to nursery school as we can’t expect the staff to remember to reapply it in the morning so she has 600 minutes of protection with that factor (that’s 10 hours as long as she doesn’t go swimming). When she’s at the beach we use a lower factor and keep reapplying as she is in and out of the water. We are also running a ‘hats are cool’ campaign in our house to try to encourage her to cover her head and face more. Not an easy call with a 2 1/2 year old I can tell you.
The dermatologist, Dr Cordula Ahnhudt, recommends that we all go for yearly skin checks as this way you can keep an eye on the development of any moles.