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Here at Sunshine’s Central Health Clinic, we know that summer in Australia can be brutal for our skin. In the summer months, we see dangerously high levels of Ultraviolet Radiation, also known as UV radiation, which has been linked to skin cancers and melanoma.  However, these risks can be prevented by getting a regular mole and skin check.

If you spend a lot of time outdoors or have a family history of skin cancer, book an appointment with one of our Sunshine Medical Centre’s GPs for a skin check. Early detection is important as it may prevent the spread of skin cancer to other parts of your body.

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What is UV radiation?

UV Radiation is part of sunlight that can cause both sunburn and tanning. While a little bit of sunlight is good for you, too much can lead to a variety of health problems such as skin cancer and eye damage. If you maintain a tan long term or get sunburnt frequently then your health may be at risk.

How do we know if UV radiation is high?

Ever since the link between cancer and UV radiation was discovered, an index has been created to warn people about days where UV radiation is particularly high.  This is often included on weather information sites such as the Bureau of Meteorology, as well as in print and TV media. The index is included alongside information of when the UV radiation is at it’s highest; usually between 11am  to 3 pm.

UV radiation information is monitored by a government agency called ARPANSA (Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency.) On their website, they have graphs showing how much UV radiation is present.

The Bureau of Meteorology uses information from ARPANSA and, if the UV index is above 3, they issue a warning. There are also Sun Smart apps available which are endorsed by the Cancer Council and have information on UV radiation.

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What can we do to protect ourselves from UV Radiation?

There are plenty of steps that we can take to ensure we protect ourselves from harsh UV radiation. Most importantly, when UV radiation is high try keeping out of the sun for long periods of time. Try wearing sunglasses to protect your eyes and remember that clothing can help shield your skin. For example, if you’re out and about on a hot day then it’s a good idea to wear a top that protects your shoulders.

To protect the rest of your body you should wear sunscreen that is at least 30+ SPF.   SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor, it protects your skin from UV radiation and prevents sun damage. The higher the SPF, the greater the protection. Remember to reapply it every few hours as well as after swimming. Wearing a hat is also advised as it protects your scalp more thoroughly than your hair can.

Taking these steps means that you can enjoy summer without having to worry about your health. If you have any more questions, are looking for advice or want to inquire about a skin check then contact us today and see one of our Central Health Clinic’s GPs for further discussion.

Call us       03 93102389

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