How can you protect yourself from too much sun?
Protecting yourself effectively from the sun means avoiding too much UVA and UVB radiation. The sun is particularly intense in the summer between 11 and 15 o'clock. Who wants to limit the contact with UV radiation, can
Protecting yourself from excessive UV radiation is the most important way to prevent skin cancer. Children are more sensitive than adults and therefore need special protection against intense sunlight and sunburn.
- Avoid direct sun during the summer during the summer,
- Seeking shade, especially during lunchtime,
- protect yourself from the sun with umbrella, hat and clothes,
- wearing sunglasses with UV protection lenses,
- Use sunscreen with UV-A and UV-B protection and a high sun protection factor as well
- do without sunbeds and UV lamps.
Practical information for parents who can help protect children from the sun can be found in our flyer:
Children and Sun
How much protection do shade and clothing provide?
Shadow is the best sunscreen. It can reduce UV radiation by 50 to 95%. However, not every shadow protects the same. Thick foliage of trees or shrubs lends itself well and holds more sun than many beach umbrellas. If no shady place to find, you can dress accordingly. Wide brimmed hats are a good match. A sun or umbrella can be an extra protection for babies.
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Clothing protects well when it is dark, tightly woven or dense and unbleached. Materials such as polyester, but also jeans and wool keep more UV light than thin cotton fabrics, linen, silk or viscose.
In addition, there are clothes with special UV protection. How good the protection is depends critically on how it is made. Some textiles lose much of their protection when wet or washed.
The most reliable statement about the sun protection factor of textiles is provided by the "UV Standard 801". This procedure also checks the garment being used and specifies its UV protection as Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF). The UPF according to UV standard 801 states how much longer the user can stay in the sun without getting sunburned. Dense cotton clothing has a UPF of about 20.
What can you expect from sunscreen?
Sunscreens such as sunscreen or spray can prevent sunburn, considering how long they work. This makes them valuable because sunburn hurts, damages the skin and is associated with an increased skin cancer risk.
However, the question of whether sunscreen directly protects against skin cancer is not so easy to answer. Studies suggest that people less likely to develop squamous cell carcinoma when applying cream. The fact that sunscreens prevent the more dangerous melanoma and the more common basal cell carcinoma, has not yet been proven. Most studies on the subject neglect important influencing factors such as the skin type of the participants. In other studies, participants were asked afterwards how often they had creamed themselves. It is hardly possible to remember exactly how often and well you creamed yourself years or decades ago.
Most studies also used older products that did not have a UVA filter and a comparatively low sun protection factor (SPF). Modern creams with higher SPF and UV-A filters have been studied even less so far.
Despite many unanswered questions, sunscreen is an important additional aid. There are situations - such as walking, swimming or surfing - where there is no shade or clothing alone is not enough. Even when bathing or water sports one is particularly exposed to the sun, because water reflects the UV rays. The rays can also penetrate up to a meter deep in water.
Properly protect from the sun
If you are exposed to the sun too much, you may easily get sunburn, skin cancer (the most common form of cancer), a heat stroke, or unevenly colored skin. Take the right measures against these risks and enjoy the sun with the right protection.
You should research a bit before buying a sunscreen. It is beneficial to know which ingredients are in your cream, especially as the sunscreens have intensified in recent years. Do not just buy the first cream you find or one that smells good. You should know how the cream works on your skin and if it really does what it promises.
Choose the right sunscreen with the right SPF. The LSF is the sunscreen factor, but does not indicate how strong the SPF is. He indicates how long he theoretically protects. An example: If you get sunburn within 10 minutes, a sunscreen with SPF 30 will protect you thoroeretically for about 300 minutes, because you have to expect the time of sunburn without protection to get the SPF of your sunscreen. So you know how often you have to apply about sunscreen. Nevertheless, you must not be reckless. You should not neglect other protective measures such as the wearing of appropriate clothing or the omission of the midday sun. Sunscreen is only a small part of your protection program.
You can not add up the LSF. If you apply sunscreen with SPF 10 and SPF 20, you will not automatically have SPF 30.
30+ is very good if you are on the beach or in the pool. Higher SPF is not recommended as it gives a false sense of safety and these creams contain more chemicals.
Sunscreen actually implies a wrong content because the cream absorbs, reflects and diffuses UV rays, but it does not completely protect the skin from it.
The ultraviolet radiation should be covered in all wavelengths. This is how all types of sunlight are treated. However, research beforehand because, for example, American manufacturers do not always cover all wavelengths unlike European manufacturers.
Pay attention to the ingredients. Many of them are problematic because they can cause hormonal imbalances or allergies.
Here are a few examples:
Make sure there is no para-aminobenzoic acid in your sunscreen. It can cause allergies and discolour your clothes.
Sun cream with vitamin A is also not recommended, as it makes your skin more susceptible to skin cancer.
You should not use a sunscreen with anti-wrinkle agent. If you want to protect yourself against mosquitoes, you should use two products.