Tackling Sun Exposure

We all tend to enjoy a bit of sun. It helps with our mood, it brightens our day, we associate it with the warmer weather and often the holidays. We also know that regular sun exposure is the most natural way to get vitamin D (ideally 10-30 minutes each day) and the lack of this vitamin can cause tiredness, fatigue, achy pains and even depression. Unfortunately, in the UK, sunlight is a scarce resource particularly during the winter months and obtaining it purely through diet is also quite tricky. So what’s the problem then with a bit of sun (over) exposure?


Too much sunlight (in the form of ultraviolet radiation) and the use of sunbeds are the leading causes of skin cancer. The UV light can damage the DNA of skin cells and over time, cause changes that may lead to cancer. What’s also important to note is that exposure to sunlight during the winter months puts you at the same risk as exposure during the summertime so it’s not just those holidays on the beach that put you at risk. Make sure to remember to Slip-Slop-Slap (the internationally recognised sun protection campaign of the 1980s in Australia and New Zealand). What you need to do is:

  1. Slip on sun protective clothing that covers as much of your body as possible.
  2. Slop on SPF 30 or higher broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen, at least 20 minutes before sun exposure. Reapply every two hours when outdoors or more often if perspiring or swimming.
  3. Slap on a broad-brimmed hat that shades your face, neck and ears.
  4. Seek shade.
  5. Slide on sunglasses.

* taken from Cancer Council Victoria


If you notice any worrying features to a mole or a skin lesion, please see your GP.

What To Look Out For


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