Sunbathe Safely

    Things you should know:

    1. Babies aged under 2 should not be exposed to direct sunlight at all. They should always wear a sun hat and long-sleeved clothing. Children aged over 2 should wear a T-shirt, only the arms and legs may be left uncovered, and they must always wear a sun hat. It is essential for children not to get sunburn. Recent studies have shown that children under 15 who get sunburn have a bigger risk of melanoma (skin cancer) as they get older. Probably up to 80 % of damage to the skin from the sun occurs in the first 18 years of people’s lives.
    2. A child does not need to be tanned to be fit and healthy. Parents should be a role model to their children in terms of sunbathing and should teach their children early on about the use of sunscreens.
    3. People going on weekend and short-break holidays are especially at risk of sunburn.
    4. Only sunbathe for 60 % of your auto-protection time. With a sunscreen, the time may be extended accordingly.
    5. Avoid the midday sun from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and spend this time in the shade.
    6. Natural sun protection: shade and clothing. Both reduce exposure, but do not provide complete protection. Apply water-resistant sunscreens, as well as wearing clothing.
    7. Sunscreens with light protection factors are effective, but have to be renewed. Apply in good time, at least 30 minutes before going out in the sun. Repeated application of sunscreen products does not increase but only maintains the protective effect.
    8. Water-resistant sunscreens are effective, but have to be reapplied. The sun protection effects are severely reduced by bathing and sweating and by being rubbed off on towels, clothing and sand.
    9. For people with untanned skin, sunscreens against UVA and UVB with an SPF of 15-20 are recommended, for children an SPF of 30 and for babies an SPF of 40 and more. In the case of sunburn, apply complete UV protection with sun blockers. Even on well tanned skin, continue to apply sunscreen with an SPF of 10 to 20 as further tanning will not take place but unnecessary exposure to radiation will be strongly reduced.
    10. Pre-tanning with UVA light alone increases the auto-protection time only slightly; UVA and UVB together increases it significantly (up to a light protection factor of 15).
    11. Sun allergies (PLE) can, however, be avoided in most cases by UVA exposure over 3-4 weeks before the holiday in the sun.
    12. Artificial UV lamps (sunbeds) emit almost only UVA and only a very small amount of UV light. For acclimatisation (“hardening effect”), pre-tanning with combined UVA and UVB should be carried out 4 weeks before the holiday (3 to 4 times a week). Regular long-term use of sunbeds should be limited to at most once a week, if at all. Even this radiation dose can cause premature ageing of the skin.
    13. Water and sand increase the radiation through reflection. Wind reduces our feeling for heat and the increased flow of blood through the skin (flush), and therefore raises the risk of sunburn.
    14. Window glass provides protection from UBV radiation but not from UVA radiation.
    15. Protect the eyes from direct sunlight (sunglasses!). Otherwise damage may occur to the cornea and conjunctiva of the eye and the sensory cells of the retina.
    16. After spending time in the sun, use moisturising creams and lotions to prevent the skin becoming dry.