As Europeans carry with the record breaking heat that smothers most of the continent, the importance of sun protection can not be overestimated.
Why should we be careful? How to choose and apply a sunscreen? Euronews has gathered a few dermatologist tips.
Why sun protection is important
There is no such thing as healthy, say dermatologists.
"Tan is actually a sign that our skin is damaged by UV radiation and is trying to defend itself from further damage. This type of damage can in turn increase the risk of developing skin cancer," the British Association of Dermatologists said. BAD) warns.
There were more than 140,000 new cases of melanoma in Europe. According to the Global Cancer Observatory in 2018, most of the effects are due to extensive exposure to the sun.
"In more than four out of five cases, skin cancer is a disease that can be prevented," BAD said.
How to choose a sunscreen
"Look for SPF 30 or more," Dr. Doris Day, a New York dermatologist, told Euronews, SPF means "sun protection factor" and shows how much it protects you from sunburn.
The day said sunscreen should also be a wide spectrum, which means it protects the skin from ultraviolet A (UVA) and Ultraviolet B (UVB) air, both of which can cause skin cancer.
It is desirable to choose a waterproof sunscreen, according to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD).
"The real formulation of gel, lotion or cream is a personal preference with gels that are better for those who are athletic and those with oily skin while the creams are better for those with dry skin," Dr. Day said.
There are basically two types of sunscreen and each one has its own advantages and disadvantages.
"Chemical sunscreens act like a sponge that absorbs the sun's rays," AAD explained. "These formulations tend to be easier to rub into the skin without leaving a white residue."
"Physical sun protection acts as a shield, seated on the surface of your skin and rejects the sun's rays," AAD said, adding: "Decide on this sunscreen if you have sensitive skin."
How to apply sunscreen
The first rule is that the sunscreen is applied generously.
"Research has shown that most people use less than half the amount needed to ensure the level of protection indicated on the packaging," BAD said.
"Areas such as the back and side of the door, the temples and the ears are usually missed, so you have to do it generously and watch out for patches."
Although the amount requested may vary depending on the type of product, AAD says most adults will have to use the equivalent of & # 39; cup & # 39; to protect it from the sun to completely cover your body.
Not only do you need to apply more sunscreen, it is more likely to be applied more often. "Up to 85 percent of the product can be removed by drying towels, so you should re-apply it after swimming, sweating or any other strong or abrasive activity," BAD recommends.
Last but not least, do not forget to apply the sunscreen thoroughly.
"Studies show that, if you are right, you will use more sunscreen on the right side of the face, and on the left side if your face is flat," Dr. Day said.
"Be sure to apply a generous layer to your entire face, I prefer to start with the face and end up with your nose to make sure everything is covered. It is also very important to cover the scalp or part of your hair as well as the side of your neck and chest, "Dr Day continued.
Why sunscreen is not enough
"Even more important than sunscreen, it's a smart sun," Dr. Day said.
"This means avoiding sunny sunshine when possible, staying in the shade whenever possible, wearing a hat, sun protection clothing, sunglasses and sunscreens, and applying sunscreen every few hours," added a dermatologist.
"An easy way to remember is shorter shadows, more dangerous sun rays. At noon, your shadow is basically nil because the sun is above, when UVB rays are strongest and you have the greatest chance of burns. "
Clothing also offers excellent sun protection. When possible, wear a "light long sleeve shirt, pants, a wide-eyed hat and sunglasses," according to AAD's recommendations.
Extremely hot sun protection
Under extreme thermal waves like those currently seen in Europe, it becomes even more important to be smart to the sun.
"Stay hydrated because you can lose a good amount of water through the skin in the form of sweat," Dr Day said.
"If you have headaches, vision changes or body temperature, visit your doctor right away, as this may be a sign of the sun and can be life-threatening," she added.