First published June 2017; updated May 2019
5 ESSENTIALS TO PACK FOR YOUR HOLIDAYS
- Sunscreen: choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen (offering both UVA and UVB protection), with a SPF of at least 30+ for adults and 50+ for children, and which is water-resistant.
- Sun-protective clothing that is dark and tightly woven (when you hold it up to the light, you shouldn’t see any light coming through).
- A wide brimmed hat.
- UV protective sunglasses.
- Portable shade such as an umbrella.
MOST PEOPLE DON’T APPLY SUNSCREEN CORRECTLY. HERE’S HOW IT’S DONE:
- Correct amount: you should apply at least 1 teaspoon to each body part – Head/Face/Neck ; Each Arm ; Each Leg ; Your Front ; Your Back.
- Correct locations: don’t forget your ears, your neck, your nose, the tops of your feet and (if your hair is thinning) your scalp!
- Correct timing: apply sunscreen at least 20-30 minutes before you go out in the sun.
- Correct frequency: reapply sunscreen frequently (at least every 2 hours), and after exercising, sweating, swimming, or after towel drying.
- Correct use: don’t be lulled into a false sense of security! Sunscreen should not be your main method of sun protection – you should also seek shade (particularly between 11am-3pm when UV rays are strongest) and wear sun protective clothing.
5 STEPS TO TREATING SUNBURN
- Use a moisturiser to help soothe sunburned skin. Try storing it in the fridge so it feels cool on application.
- Stay hydrated by drinking extra water.
- Consider taking aspirin or ibuprofen to reduce swelling, redness and discomfort.
- If your skin blisters, leave the blisters intact to help the skin heal and to reduce the risk of infection.
- Take extra care to protect your skin while it heals by avoiding the sun and wearing protective clothing.
We want everyone in Ireland to learn to Protect & Inspect their skin! Read our short guide, written with hospital-based dermatologists, to checking your skin.