Seychelles is blessed with year-round sunshine, when it’s not raining of course. As islanders, we typically spend our day relaxing on the beach during the weekend and we make the most of our work break whenever we get the chance.
As good as the sun can be for us (source of Vitamin D), it can be even more damaging to our skin and overall health. It is up to each one of us to take the necessary precautions to protect our health and skin.
Prolonged exposure to the sun can lead to early signs of ageing such as wrinkles, sagging skins, sun spots etc. It also causes discoloration, uneven and scaly skin texture. Most alarming, the ultraviolet (UV) rays may cause various health concerns including skin cancer, skin lesions, eye damage, spider veins etc.
You will not feel these effects in the immediate aftermath of a tanning session. Sadly, the effects are felt years down the line and you may not even associate the two when it happens. In the short run, too much exposure can cause sunburn, headache or migraine attack.
How to protect your skin
In order to keep the smooth texture of your skin, you have to actively find ways to keep your skin healthy. While you may find some of the recommendations wearisome to your lifestyle, you will only thank yourself later on when you’re looking 30 in your 40s.
- Use sunscreen
- Limit time out in the sun
- Find a shade
- Wear a cap
- Use an umbrella
- Wear UV-blocking sunglasses
- Protect yourself with appropriate clothing
- Keep babies and children well-covered
- Avoid sunburns
- Moisturise your skin
Correct use of sunscreen
For maximum efficiency, you have to apply sunscreen correctly.
- Use daily if going outside, especially with prolonged sun exposure
- Reapply after a swim, sweating or wash
- Use UVA and UVB blocking sunscreen
- Use sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher on your kids
- The higher the SPF, the more efficient the sunscreen
- Store the sunscreen in an appropriate location at room temperature
- Apply generously across all exposed surfaces
Symptoms of skin cancer
One of the most common causes for skin cancer is UV exposure. If you have experienced these symptoms, reach out to your medical practitioner.
- Unusual mole, lumps or marks
- Changes in mole colour or size or lack of assymetry
- Unhealed or bleeding sore
- Spread of spot pigmentation
- Itchiness or pain
Remember, although generally, darker-skinned people are less susceptible to skin cancer, it does not mean that there is a zero percent chance that you will ever develop the cancer. Prevention is always better than cure.