ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Avoiding Sunburn on Holiday

Updated on February 16, 2008
Sensible Beach Atire: Photo by burqbeauty
Sensible Beach Atire: Photo by burqbeauty

Sunburn: How to avoid it

Quick question: assuming the beach is in Australia, in February, which of the beach goers on the right are most sensibly dressed? Well for my money to the 2 girls, one wearing a headscarf, both with trousers on, who are pretty sensibly dressed! In Australia's summer the UV index is 11 from 9:00am to after 5pm. The burn time is less than 10 minutes.So what's the big deal you say - I get a little burnt so what? Well the short answer to that one is skin cancer. Oh and looking like a lined old women before you hit 40!

There is an awful lot of nonsense written about what will give you cancer: everything from plastics to food have been accused as carcinogens - but one of the absolutely proven ones is the sun - and the best way to get skin cancer is to be a fair skinned person in bright sun near the tropics, at altitude, in a country with little air pollution, or on the beach or snow where the sunlight is even more effective at burning you.

Also let's face it a nasty case of sun burn can put you in hospital - third degree burns are crippling, painful and disfiguring regardless of the source of the heat: the sun or a fire. You wouldn't deliberately burn yourself on a bbq - why would you do it on a beach?

It's discrimination: but 1 girl isn't risking Skin Cancer Photo by Dave and Thomas
It's discrimination: but 1 girl isn't risking Skin Cancer Photo by Dave and Thomas

Who is most at Risk

The people most at risk are those of us with less pigment: i.e those with blond or red hair, light-coloured eyes who burn easily are most at risk.

Every time you burn you damage your skin and increase your risk of developing skin cancer.

Children and teenagers are particularly at risk. I see tourists let their kids play on the beach with next to no clothes on and wonder why that is not counted as child abuse - especially when they are white and clearly just got off the plane from a cooler climate.

A suntan is just a symptom that your skin is damaged. There is no such thing as a safe tan. The only safe tan comes out of a bottle.

Where you are most at Risk:

Countries that are under the ozone hole: Australia, New Zealand, Chile, southern Argentina. With the ozone hole you can even be burnt on a cloudy day.

At the beach, especially a white sand beach where the sand will reflect the sun and effectively burn you twice.

At sea or on the snow - again the sea/snow reflects the UV and you where you don't expect to be burnt.

High altitude skiing destinations

On the water.

Sensible beach attire: my version
Sensible beach attire: my version

Tips for Avoiding Sun Damage on your Vacation

  • Stay out of the direct sun. As Noel Coward famously sung: "Only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun". However in hotter parts of the world the midday sun extends from 10am to 4pm!

  • Cover up: The Arabs where loose cotton clothes not just to protect themselves - covering up actually keeps you cooler in a dry climate - you don't dehydrate as much.

  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat - not just a baseball cap. Where good quality sunglasses with large lenses. I got burnt wearing the outfit on the left over about 3 hours: what got burnt - my head - I have very thick hair but I still got burnt through it because I wasn't wearing a hat in the water!
  • Where 30+ Suntan Lotion. Anything less that 30+ is a waste of time ,according to the experts anything more than 30+ is a waste of money - you sweat and wear it of at the same rate. I wear a combined suntan/moisturiser on my face everyday. The reason that the Australian's think that the Irish and Scottish have lovely complexions is quite simple - the fair skin Celts who haven't migrated from their homelands have very little sun damage to their skins!

The Author

Lis Sowerbutts has been traveling since age 7, and has to date visited over 55 countries. She firmly believes in travel for the over-30's and that you are never too late to start traveling

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Lissie profile imageAUTHOR

      Elisabeth Sowerbutts 

      10 years ago from New Zealand

      It's pretty scary - my mother died of skin cancer - so I know the consequences. I think all of us pale-skinned people in Australia and NZ should have a regular skin check by a doctor. Thanks for the comment

    • Tottie profile image

      Tottie 

      10 years ago from Australia , or China, or South Korea.

      thankfully I've never been a "sun bunny" though have over the years had a few doses of sunburn. Even recently in Adelaide I was "touched" by the sun, but I didn't peel or anything. I do try to use sunscreen, and I wear a wide brimmed hat, and I seldom stay out in the sun with brief gear on.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)