As the summer approaches and outdoor activities become more frequent, Powys GPs are committed to promoting sun safety awareness. With rising temperatures and longer days, it's crucial to take steps to protect your skin and health from the sun's harmful rays.

Key Sun Safety Tips:

Use Sunscreen: Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. Reapply every two hours, or more often if swimming or sweating. Don't forget areas like the ears, back of the neck, and tops of the feet.

Wear Protective Clothing: Opt for lightweight, long-sleeved shirts, trousers, and a wide-brimmed hat. Sunglasses with UV protection are also essential to shield your eyes from UV rays.

Seek Shade: Limit your exposure to direct sunlight, especially between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when UV rays are strongest. Utilise umbrellas, canopies, or trees for natural shade.

Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated and help your body cope with the heat. Avoid excessive alcohol and caffeinated beverages, which can contribute to dehydration.

Avoid Tanning Beds: Tanning beds expose your skin to intense UV radiation, increasing the risk of skin cancer and premature ageing. Embrace your natural skin tone and prioritise your health.

Monitor UV Index: Check the daily UV index forecast to plan your outdoor activities accordingly. A higher UV index means greater potential for skin damage.

Recognise the Signs of Heat-Related Illness:

Prolonged sun exposure can lead to heat-related illnesses such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Symptoms include heavy sweating, weakness, dizziness, nausea, and confusion. If you or someone else shows signs of heat-related illness, move to a cooler place, hydrate, and seek medical attention if necessary.

Regular Skin Checks:

Conduct regular self-examinations to detect early signs of skin cancer. Look for new or changing moles, spots, or lesions, and consult a healthcare professional if you notice anything suspicious.

"Our goal is to ensure everyone enjoys the summer safely by taking necessary precautions against the sun's harmful effects," said Gareth Ratcliffe PAVO health promotions facilitator for Mid-Powys. "Simple steps like using sunscreen and wearing protective clothing can significantly reduce the risk of skin cancer and other sun-related health issues."