New Zealand has the highest rate of melanoma in the world. This life-threatening cancer is most often caused by exposure to the sun, and a history of sunburn in childhood can lead to melanoma later in life.
Here are some ways to make good choices about sun awareness and UV protection.
Slop on some broad-spectrum sunscreen, that is at least SPF 30 which protects against both UVA and UVB rays and is water resistant Remember to apply 20 minutes before going outside and reapply every 2 hours with a two coat approach.
Slap on a broad-brimmed hat with at least a 7.5cm brim. Did you know caps do not protect the neck, ears, or side of the face?
When to protect your skin:
- when the ultraviolet index (UVI) is 3 or above
- from September to April, especially between 10am and 4pm
- at the beach, as reflections from water and sand can increase UV
- at high altitudes, especially near snow, which strongly reflects UV
It is fair to say my relationship with the sun has changed dramatically since that day – sunscreen, shade, sunglasses and good old common sense in the sun has replaced sunbathing and sunbeds.
– Adine Wilson said after finding out she had been diagnosed with melanoma.