Don’t forget to wear sunscreen kids

And with a blink of an eye our British summer was over…Feature3_image2_vitD

If you live in England, there is no way you could have missed the great big heatwave we had last week! (Unless of course you were locked up with full air-conditioning).

I know, I know, we’re back to more of that rain we’re used to, but I’m not going to lie I am REALLY grateful to have this rain. Unless I’m on a beach with drinks on tap and sat by a pool, 31 degrees is just unbearable…. particularly when last week I was sat in my stuffy doctors room, with no air-conditioning and a pathetic excuse for a window.

Sorry for all the weather chat, I’ll get to my point and what I really wanted to talk about –

1. the importance of sunscreen, and

2. to educate the ignorant people out there that told me I don’t need sunscreen because I’m brown/that brown people don’t burn/ or better yet, why do you need a tan?you have a permanent tan (seriously, do some of you even hear what comes out of your own mouths?!)

haha who am I kidding, lets get straight to point 2 first because I obviously need to rant! So 2 weekends ago when the heatwave started I was in London. I was there for an event which meant I had to sit out in the sun for over 12 hours. Now bear in mind when I got there at 8:30am in the morning it was already 23 degrees with no clouds in sight, and by lunchtime it was in the 30’s. Now I’m sat with a group of people and one of them saw me topping up my suncream commented ‘why do you need sunscreen? you don’t need it and don’t worry you won’t tan, you already have one’. I managed to get sunburn that day, and later that week at work when a colleague pointed out to me that my arms were burnt,  another bright spark who is a doctor I work with (the mind boggles as to how being a doctor they can be so *$%££$%* ) was shocked and says… ‘what I didn’t know you could burn, I thought only white people get sunburn’.

Come on people, like seriously? Yes I am Asian, my skin tone may be darker than yours, but I can still get sunburn, I still need to wear sunscreen, and guess what? I tan too… yes it is possible for me to get even more brown!

And back to point 1. If there is any advice I would give to anyone and especially to my younger self it would be to ‘always wear sunscreen’.

There are around 6 skin types, number 1 being that which is easiest to burn and more pale, and as you go up each number up to 6 which is less likely to burn and darkest in tone. Regardless of the skin type, we ALL need to wear sunscreen; not just to protect us from sunburn but also to protect us from UVA/UVB radiation from the sun, which can cause skin damage and in turn put us at risk of skin cancer, as well as causing our skin to age early.

For more information have a look at this Sunscreen Factsheet produced by the British Association of Dermatologists or this patient friendly sheet sunandhealth by , which both explain why sunscreen is important and what you should be looking for in terms of SPF when buying sunscreen.



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