It’s that time of year again where people are taking a well-earned rest from working and enjoying some annual leave. Some will be hitting destinations afar, looking forward to donning their new speedos or showcasing their new bikini. Sporting their new sandals with a nice pair of knee-high white socks, while sipping on a cheeky Pina Colada.
Others may be vacating in the UK, hitting some of our picturesque coastal villages, towns and beaches. Or they’ll be staying closer to home to visit Costa del Cleethorpes and Skegvagas, sitting back in a deck chair or parking themselves on a bench to indulge in the local fish and chips. They’ll be fighting the seagulls off - doing the traditional British thing of ‘people watching,’ commentating on how Sandra over there is looking after seven kids while Derek sits in his deck chair with his t-shirt off, slurping a warm cider and burning to a crisp.
You’ll get the people who take time off work to check out local theme parks, praying they don’t get dragged on any rides. They’ll watch from afar while their kids enjoy themselves, secretly hoping the little terrors will burn themselves out for bedtime. Then there’s those who take annual leave to do the gardening and prim their roses while the weather is nice.
While a lot of individuals will be taking annual leave this time of year, many will still have their nose to the grind stone, working towards their holidays later in the year.
No matter what you’re doing this summer, there’s something that is going to be with us all and that’s the big yellow ball of fire in the sky, showering us with its warming rays. Now everyone likes a little sun, and it certainly puts a spring in people’s strides, however it’s important we protect ourselves against the UV rays. Not only can it leave us feeling sore, it can leave us looking like great big beetroots with clashing hair colour.
Joking aside, skin cancer is on the rise and it’s all to do with UV radiation. Almost all skin cancers (approximately 99% of non-melanoma skin cancers and 95% of melanoma) are caused by too much UV radiation from the sun or other sources such as sunbeds. Skin cancer develops in the cells in the epidermis (the top or outer layer of the skin), which the UV radiation penetrates, causing permanent damage to the cells, which potentially leads to the cancer.
The best way of protecting our skin from the UV radiation is to apply a barrier. Now this barrier could be clothing, sun cream or even not going out, anything that stops UV radiation penetrating the skin.
With summer weather set to sizzle for a few weeks yet, and many people hitting the continent, not everyone is going to want to be covered from head to toe with clothing. You’d be melting like an iceberg in Africa! I prefer to use sun cream and remember the 3 S strategy –
Shake that sun cream bottle up, making sure it’s not too watery
Squirt it on the exposed skin
Spread evenly across your whole body
For those hard to reach places ask a partner or friend to help you spread the cream evenly. The cream will act as a barrier and prevent harmful UV radiation penetrating the skin, just remember to apply every couple of hours.
So now you’ve learnt the Shake, Squirt, Spread, please remember to use it every time the sun is out. Although this is another light-hearted blog, I cannot stress enough how important it is to protect your skin from UV radiation.
Now go forth and enjoy the summer months.