Give your skin a break

SunSmart manager Mark Strickland advises covering up and seeking shade. Picture: Marcus Whisson www.communitypix.com.au d413447
SunSmart manager Mark Strickland advises covering up and seeking shade. Picture: Marcus Whisson www.communitypix.com.au d413447

SunSmart manager Mark Strickland said people might think only half an hour of sun while having lunch would not harm them, especially on cooler days, but in reality the risk of sunburn was extreme.

‘If people are outside at lunch time, they’re outside at the highest strength of UV radiation,’ Mr Strickland said.

‘At this time of year the UV radiation in Perth will be 13 to 14 at lunch time.

‘Under those circumstances even 15 minutes is enough to do damage to our skin.’

Mr Strickland said people should be more concerned about the real risk of skin cancer that came with overexposure to UV radiation than the risk of vitamin D deficiency.

‘For the vast majority of the population who dress in the mainstream way and move between buildings during the day, those people will be getting enough incidental sunshine to meet their vitamin D requirements… even if they’re being sun smart,’ he said.

Mr Strickland said seeking shade as well as wearing a hat, sunglasses and protective clothing were the best options to be sun smart because some people found it too much of a bother to put on sunscreen for their lunch breaks.

‘If you’ve got bare skin then that means sun screen is the next option but it isn’t a perfect choice because no sunscreen blocks 100 per cent of UV radiation and often we don’t put it on properly.’