This year Sun Awareness Week runs from 6-12 May 2019. It is a national campaign run by the British Association of Dermatologist (BAD) and aims to raise awareness of the dangers of too much ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun or sunbeds.
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.
Some lymphoma treatments like radiotherapy and chemotherapy make the skin more sensitive to the sun so you need to take extra care.
And if you have lost your hair due to treatment, always protect your scalp from the sun with a hat/head covering or sun block - even in cold weather.
Sun protection tips
- Avoid the sun between 11am and 3pm when the rays are at their strongest.
- Use a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher and choose one that protects against both 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.
- Apply sunscreen regularly throughout the day.
- 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.
- Take extra care to protect areas treated with radiotherapy.
Extract from an article that appeared in Lymphoma Matters 111, Summer 2018
Published 8 May 2019