I’m sure you’ll agree: sunburn is not fun! It’s something most people aim to avoid in their everyday lives. However there are some common myths about sunburn many believe are true. It may surprise you to find out that these ideas are pure misconceptions! Keep reading to find out how you can protect yourself and your loved ones from sun damage in the best way possible.

Myth No.1:  ‘You can’t get sunburnt in the shade’:

Shade can provide some protection from UV rays. However, shade that is under trees with more dispersed foliage or roof structures with small holes and gaps can still cause UV penetration and subsequent skin damage. Taking shade under solid roof structures with little view of the sky can provide greater protection in these instances. Also still use sunscreen while under these structures!

Even in shade, reflective surfaces can also allow sun rays to bounce back and they may reflect as much as 25% of UV radiation! Light coloured surfaces such as concrete, metallic surfaces, sand and light coloured paint (even with plastic beach umbrellas) reflect much more radiation that darker surfaces.

Myth No.2: ‘You’re safe from sun damage when in water’:

Within the previous 12 months, 69% of sunburns acquired by Queensland children were during a water-based activity. Up to 40% of total UV radiation hits the body even when half a metre below the water surface! Reflective surfaces surrounding water can also amplify UV, such as concrete around a pool.

You may not always notice your skin is burning when you’re swimming, since the water cools you down. This only stresses the importance of proper sun protection, even while in the water!

“Up to 40% of total UV radiation hits the body even when half a metre below the water surface!”

Myth No.3: ‘An odd sunburn can’t hurt’:

An odd sunburn can’t hurt right? Wrong! Being sunburnt does not mean you will definitely develop skin cancer in the future; however, getting sunburnt can significantly increase the risk of skin cancer, particularly when young. According to Cancer Research UK, even one case of sunburn between the age of 15 and 25 increased the risk of skin cancer by over 50%.

Among people aged 25-49, skin cancer is the second most common cancer, although Cancer Research UK tells us that almost 90% of these cases can be avoided if people took the time to look after their skin! It may seem inconvenient at the time, but in the long run it may mean the difference between developing skin cancer or not!

Regardless of these common misconceptions surrounding sunburn, it is important to take all possible steps to protect your skin from sun damage in all situations. Even in instances when you think the sun cannot cause any damage, it’s always a good idea to protect yourself and your loved ones.

If you would like to read more, please follow this link: https://theconversation.com/i-cant-get-sunburnt-through-glass-shade-or-in-water-right-5-common-sunburn-myths-busted-150640