There’s no healthy way to get a tan from sunlight according to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). The latest guidance from NICE recommends using at least a factor 15 sun cream and adults should use 35 ml per application.
However, people must have some exposure to the sun to build up supplies of Vitamin D (which regulates the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body, nutrients which are needed to keep the bones and teeth healthy). NICE recommends that people expose their arms and legs to the sun for short periods. They say it is not possible to get enough of the vitamin thought by sittig next to a closed sunny window or from sunlight between October and March in the UK.[clear-line]
Skin Cancer – The ABCD Rule
What’s Skin Cancer and who is at risk (BSL)
Click here for more information in BSL on skin cancer
The guidance from NICE says that:
- People with a family history of skin cancer, people with fair skin or hair and/or lots of moles and freckles should take extra care in the sun. Babies and children should also be protected.
- High factor sun creams (such as Factor 30) provide better protection but do not mean you can spend more time in the sun without the risk of burning.
- Applying sunscreen too thinly reduces the amount of protection offered.
- Sunscreens need to be re-applied regularly, particularly after being in water, towel drying or sweating.
- Sunscreen should be applied twice. One half an hour after going out and again while out in the sun.
- Babies under six months should be kept out of direct sunlight and children need sun protection between March and October
Professor Gillian Leng, Director of Health and Social Care at Nice said:
“How much time we should spend in the sun depends on a number of factors including geographical location, time of day and year, weather conditions and natural skin colour. People with lighter skin, people who work outside and those of us who enjoy holidays in sunny countries all have a higher risk of experiencing skin damage and developing skin cancer.
On the other hand, people who cover up for cultural reasons, are housebound or otherwise confined indoors for long periods of time are all at higher risk of low vitamin D levels.”