In the excitement of a favourite team playing, fans can easily forget the harm caused by sun exposure. The sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation increases the risk of skin cancer, including melanoma.
Dr Dipti Patel, joint director of National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC), advises:
Getting a golden tan is a goal for many travellers, but a tan is not a sign of health, it is a visible sign of damage which can lead to skin ageing and skin cancer.
NaTHNaC and Public Health England (PHE) encourage fans to ensure they are adequately protected against harmful UV rays by following the advice below:
- seek shade when the sun is at its highest point and try not to spend a lot of time in the sun
- always use a high SPF sun-cream which blocks UVA and UVB radiation – use the right amount of sun cream:
- at least 2 tablespoons for an average adult every time
- apply 30 minutes before going outside and re-apply every 2 hours
- after swimming
- sweating a lot or exercising
- cover up: close knit clothes and wide brimmed hats offer the best protection
- children are particularly vulnerable to sun damage and should be protected with high SPF sun cream, clothes, hats and sun shelters
- buy sunglasses that block out 100% of UVA and UVB rays: look for a British Standard mark or UV 400 label
- if you have sunburn, avoid direct sunlight by covering up the affected areas of skin and stay in the shade until your sunburn has healed
Mary Gawthrop, travel specialist nurse at NaTHNaC said:
We strongly urge travellers to protect eyes from sun exposure. Over-exposure to UV rays without proper eye protection, can cause a temporary effects similar to sunburn on the skin. Wearing a wide-brimmed hat can reduce the amount of UV rays that reach your face and eyes.
Protecting your skin from the sun using sunscreen is better than treating its harmful effects. A little caution and some sensible practices can help avoid unpleasant illnesses letting you enjoy your trip.
We also strongly advise fans to check NaTHNaC’s country information pages which have for specific advice for Australia and New Zealand.
Photo by Rushdi. Used under Flickr Creative Commons.