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So much of skin damage and premature aging, such as wrinkling and freckling of the skin, is due to exposure to the sun’s harsh UV rays.

UV rays are at their most dangerous as we spend leisurely time outdoors during the summer months. However, UV rays are damaging all year round.

Exercise precaution every day, and protect your skin to avoid becoming one of the many Australians with sun damaged skin. Recent statistics show an alarming growth in the number of melanoma cases in Australia. Let’s make an effort to curb this terrible trend and take some simple steps in our skin care regime to protect the largest organ of the human body…our skin!

Be sensible outdoors, and remember to “Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek & Slide”!

We all know the slogan!

“SLIP on a shirt, SLOP on sunscreen, SLAP on a hat, SEEK shade from the sun”, and to help reduce the risk of eye damage “SLIDE” on a pair of sunglasses.

You should also avoid being in the sun between the hours of 10am and 4pm because during those times sun is at its most intense and can cause sunburn in just 20 minutes!

Sun With GlassesIt is also a known fact that activity in the sun is better than inactivity, i.e. a person running around and playing or being active on the beach is most likely to gain an overall tan, rather than someone who lays down sunbaking (who not only has an uneven tan, but usually has increased risk of sunburn). Of course though, no-one should either lie in the sun or frolic on the beach without strong sun protection.

Now this might sound silly, BUT be aware of reflections!

You might have noticed while driving in a car on a sunny day that your right arm becomes sunburnt…. well that is because the UV rays are enhanced by the reflective glass, which ultimately means increased risk of sun damage. The same can be said for reflections from water, snow, sand, cement and in fact any reflective surfaces so avoid reflective sun damage.

Another interesting fact to remember is that sunlight can penetrate water down to three metres, so sun damage can also occur while swimming under water.

Stick to these healthy tips and not only will you be helping prevent that unhealthy, unattractive “leather” skin appearance, but more importantly, you will be doing your best to protect against melanoma.