Ultraviolet (UV) rays in sunlight consist of UVA and UVB. UVA rays are present throughout the year, with equal levels in summer and winter. UVA penetrates the skin and leads to wrinkles. UVB rays are at their most intense during the summer, around midday and at high altitude. It is UVB that causes sunburn.
Here are some tips to consider after treatment:
- Take extra care to protect areas treated with radiotherapy.
- Many chemotherapy drugs (such as dacarbazine, vinblastine and methotrexate) make the skin more sensitive to sunburn from UV rays.
- Avoid the sun between 11am and 3pm when the rays are at their strongest.
- Use a sunscreen with a 'sun protection factor' of 30 or higher and choose one that protects against UVB and UVA rays.
- The SPF is the level of protection against UVB, while the stars on the bottle (1-5) show the level of protection against UVA.
- Use clothing to help protect yourself from the effects of sun such as a wide-brimmed hat (caps don't protect your neck or ears), long sleeved shirts and trousers.
- Choose sunglasses with a guaranteed UV light filter.