Protect yourself in the sun

Enjoy the outdoors, but take precautions

Wherever there is sunlight, there is ultraviolet (UV) radiation that can damage your skin. You can reduce the damage to your skin by limiting the amount of time that you spend unprotected in the sun, and especially by staying in the shade at UV peak hours where the sun emits the most UV rays.
If you are already diagnosed with solar keratoses or you have been treated for solar keratoses previously it is extra important that you are careful in the sun. 

If you want to know more about the link between solar keratoses and sun exposure read the article here.

Tips on how to protect yourself from the sun’s UV radiation

Avoid the sun during and seek protection during high UV times

There is a large variation in UV levels across Australia. The UV level is affected by a number of factors including the time of day, time of year, cloud cover, altitude, proximity to the equator, scattering and reflection.

Look out for the SunSmart UV Alert which tells you the time period in which you need to be SunSmart - it appears on the weather page of most daily newspapers and on the Bureau of Meteorology website.  

Protective clothing

UV radiation cannot be blocked completely by sunscreen so when the sun is strong wearing a hat and long sleeves can improve your protection.

Use sunscreen – the right way

• Apply sunscreen before the skin turns red: Sunscreen should always be used preventively and not after the skin has turned red. By then, the skin has already been damaged. 
• Apply the right amount of sunscreen: An adult of average size should use around 40 ml (1,5 oz) – or a good handful – of sunscreen to protect the body. Most people apply too little sunscreen.
• Use the right sun protection factor: Which sun protection factor you should use depends on several factors such as climate, age, skin type and skin condition. The World Health Organization recommends always using sun protection factor 30 or above. 
• Re-apply after swimming: Always re-apply sunscreen after swimming – even if the sunscreen is water-repellent. 

Check the UV index – and adjust your day plan

Most weather forecasts also publish the daily UV radiation level in your local area. Check it and adjust your activities and precautions accordingly. 

You can also learn more about how to actively use the UV index in the article here