Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Protect Yourself From Sun Damage


It will soon be that time of year again when people start to think about booking their summer holiday. Whether it is in your home country or abroad somewhere, it is one of the main events that people look forward to – apart from Christmas of course.

It is starts by trying to think of a couple destinations you would like to go to or maybe you already know. You may have found the perfect holiday destination that you would like to return to.

For months you have something to look forward to and as the time gets closer, you start to find information out about what you can do whilst you are out there and if there is any local events being held during your holiday. Some people also see this time as the start of a diet or exercise regime.  

A little bit nearer the time, many people start to think about the things they would like to take with them such as beauty products and clothing. Plans are also made of the things you would really like to achieve whilst on holiday. For example, you may decide you want to go out drinking a lot or have a shopping holiday or maybe you just want to relax by the pool or beach.

Whatever you choose to do on your holiday there is one main essential product that so many people forget to take with them … HIGH FACTOR SUN CREAM!

Whether you are in England or abroad, this is one of the most important things you should carry with you at all times. The weather in England is so unpredictable that you should be prepared for any glimpse of sunlight, which although may not feel strong, can still do serious damage to your skin.

If you are holidaying abroad, even if you have been before, you can never guarantee how hot or sunny the weather is going to be, even if you ask the locals.

Let’s face it, we have all walked past somebody with red raw, leather looking skin and can just understand that they must be in pain. So many people decide not to use high factor sun protection as they believe they won’t get a tan otherwise. If you decide to have a couple drinks round the pool, the risk of sun damage becomes greater as you are more unaware of the changes the sun is making to your skin. It is not until you return indoors and find that you can’t move or put any clothing on that you wish you had done more to protect yourself.

Believe me; I know first-hand how painful this can be. I have been going on holiday abroad since my first holiday nearly sixteen years ago. As a young child, my parents always insured I had sun cream put on regularly throughout the day. As I turned 10 years old, it was thought that I should be more responsible myself to put the sun cream on and this is where the downfall started. From then on every holiday, I would end up with sore red skin at least once during the holiday.

This took a turn for the worst in 2009 whilst holidaying in Greece during a heat wave, I ended up with bad sunburn and getting sun stroke, which I can assure you was not a pleasant thing to have to endure in a foreign country. I ended up spending two days stuck in my hotel room unable to move.

For those of you that don’t know, sunstroke is when the body becomes so overheated that your brain can no longer cope with it. These is usually a side effect of sunburn as you are unable to cool down your burnt skin. Common side effects are hot and dry skin, a rapid pulse, confusion, fatigue and light-headedness and sickness. Victims may also lose consciousness due to your brain trying to control and regulate the body’s temperature.

You would have thought I would have learn to protect myself from the sun after this ordeal, how may 2012 whilst sunbathing in Tenerife, I got sunburn again. I had put sun cream on but had then been drinking and swimming in the pool and became unaware that I needed to re-apply my sun cream. I ended up going back to my hotel room and having to stay indoors for the rest of the day. By the next morning, my skin had already started to peel so I did not go out of the room that day until the evening. This meant a day was wasted from my holiday. The day after, I decided I felt well enough to lounge around the pool as long as I stayed in the shade. So I made my way down to the pool and picked a lovely cool shaded area to relax for the day. I soon fell asleep and unfortunately didn’t realise that the sun had moved so that I was in direct sun light and had been for several hours. When I awoke, I felt so ill and sore that I just wanted to cry. The new fresh skin that had formed where I had burnt was now blistered and red and was looking nasty and sore.

 Luckily my flight was the next morning so after enduring an uncomfortable flight I was finally back home, where I could speak to my doctor. They sent me straight to the hospital, where I was told that I had third degree burns and needed treatment straight away. The amount of time, I had left it to see someone due to my flight home, I was having difficulty breathing and my skin was starting to turn a brown/black colour. The painful treatment started and I was in constant pain for well over a month after my return. My skin, although constantly kept clean, soon smelt like burnt, rotten flesh and people around me could start to smell it.

I have now booked my 2013 holiday and have already bought my factor 50 sun cream, an after sun with aloe Vera and a large hat to ensure that I am well protected from the sun. I have now decided that my health is extremely more important than getting a tan that only lasts a couple of months. The damage I have done to my skin is noticeable and is a constant reminder to me of what I have put my body through. I am now determined to be more sensible in the sun and urge other people to also taken precautions by following these simple steps.

You should apply a high factor, waterproof sun cream 20-30 minutes before going out in the sun and from then every one to two hours. The better the brand, the longer it lasts a lot of the time. I have just spent £15 on one and claims to last up to three and a half hours, so I will therefore re-apply every two hours to be safe. You should also re-apply when you have been swimming, even if the product is waterproof as you can never be sure how waterproof it is going to be.

You should also protect your head from the sun and heat my wearing a sensible hat that still allows air to move freely.

We have all heard the warning of you shouldn’t be out in the sun during the hottest hours of the day but many people ignore this. However, if you don’t want to go indoors, maybe sit in the shade and have your lunch during this time. You can still enjoy the weather but allow your skin to have a break for the sunlight.

Finally, if you are going to be drinking whilst in the sun, make sure you keep an eye on the time, drink plenty of water and apply lots of sun cream to ensure you don’t dehydrate either your insides or your skin.

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