21 Ways to a Healthier Summer : Sun Care - Part 3

21 Ways to a Healthier Summer : Sun Care - Part 3

No. 6 - Know the signs of heat stress

Also known as sunstroke, heat stress occurs when the body isunable to cool itself, leading to cramps, headaches, dizziness and nausea. “Assoon as heat stress occurs, it’s vital to cool the person down and rehydratethem,” says Dr Ronald McCoy, spokesperson for The Royal Australian College ofGeneral Practitioners.

“If their body temperature keeps rising, they can developheatstroke [where body temperature reaches 40.5°C or higher], which is amedical emergency.” Warning signs for heatstroke include a high temperature,rapid pulse, dry swollen tongue, lack of sweating, and confusion. “Call anambulance, get the person into a cool, shady area and dampen their skin, butdon’t give them fluids as they could choke if unconscious,” advises McCoy.

No. 7 - Know your SPF rules

DO choose the highest possible protection. The CancerCouncil Australia recommends using a broad-spectrum SPF 30+, which blocks bothUVA and UVB rays.

DON’T use old sunscreens. “Sunscreens contain chemicalformulations that break down over time, so re-stock at the start of eachsummer,” advises associate professor Terry Piva, skin cancer expert atMelbourne’s RMIT University.

DO apply enough. “Sunscreens are supposed to be applied 1mmthick – if you apply them too thinly you won’t get the full SPF reading,”explains Piva.

DON’T forget to reapply. “Don’t assume that applyingsunscreen in the morning will cover you for the day,” says Piva. Applysunscreen 20 minutes before stepping outdoors, then every two hours throughoutthe day.

DO broaden your defence. Sunscreen alone can’t give you 100per cent UV protection, so be sun smart by avoiding being outdoors during peakUV times – between 11am and 3pm in the summer months – and wearing a hat andprotective clothing.sitting on the beach wwe

No. 8 - Soothe a sunburn

If you’ve been caught in the sun without sunscreen, you needto go into damage recovery mode. Rehydrate with plenty of water and tryparacetamol to reduce pain. “Apply cool compresses and a moisturiser free offragrances or essential oils as they may irritate skin,” advises Sydneydermatologist Dr Stephen Shumack.

Steer clear of the sun until skin has healed, keep showersshort and avoid excessive exercise. “Resist the urge to pick or scratch peelingskin, and if it gets worse see your GP, who may prescribe a mild steroidcream,” adds Shumack. Next time, play it safe by covering up and reapplyingsunscreen religiously.

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