It’s been a beautiful summer for those not affected by weather extremes. We’ve had lots of beach days, picnics in the park and bush walks. That’s a lot of time in the sun and although we should all be getting our fair share, too much is definitely not a good thing. Often when I look around on the beach, I see a lot of Australians who just don’t seem to be looking after their skin. Obviously the message of slip, slop, slap isn’t getting through, so now we have new graphic ads showing skin cancer development. But I don’t think it’s just Australians that aren’t sun smart – just look at all the tourists sun baking at noon on the beach. I noticed in Europe, the minute a ray of sunshine popped it’s head out between the clouds, everyone would rush to expose their ghostly winter skin.
I confess, I worry when I see people baking in the sun. I see dark spots on their bodies and I feel sad for them. I worry about my own pale skin and the number of moles that appear each year over the summer. I worry because a family member has been touched by skin cancer and is no longer with us to share love, happiness and tears. I worry, because it wasn’t the Australian sun that caused the cancer, but the European one.
On the Australian Bureau of Meteorology Website, they state the UV alert together with the days weather report. Shown is the predicted maximum on a scale of 1-20. Every day I have checked, it’s been in the extreme zone, which is 11+. They also state times between which your skin is at risk if no sun smart measures are used. I try to avoid being in the sun at these times, or completely cover up. It isn’t very cool, but then how cool is skin cancer? So wherever you are, have a great weekend, enjoy the outdoors and don’t forget the sunscreen.