“Summer time and the living is easy” ` these lyrics of a very old song could well apply, as summer is an alluring season and a time when we humans will no doubt spend much time outdoors.  Associated with this is exposure to the sun.

Some of the greatest sports occur outdoors like cycling, swimming, golfing, running, surfing – the list is never ending!

These captivating activities, minus protection, can lead to a number of skin diseases, from mild to serious. 

A few are discussed below –

Skin cancer ` what occurs is an out of control of cell growth, which can alter ones DNA in the epidermis and lead to malignant tumours.

Leukoderma (Vitiligo) ` arises when cells exhibit elevated stress, pigment alters resulting in white lesions.

Another termed Actinic keratoses is manifested as rough, sandpaper-like skin.

These are just a few of which the outdoor public should be aware of. As for appearance, a crepey skin can occur for a number of reasons, usually seen on upper arms, neck and around the eyes. UV exposure is the culprit. 

Regarding suntan beds & tan cans in salons, these high pressure sun lamps emit UVA which could be 12 times as much as the sun, opposed to the norm of 2.5 times and likely to encourage cancer.

In conclusion, what precautions can be taken? Obviously sun screen lotions assist and the science behind these recommends those containing titanium and zinc oxide having a reflective effect against the sun’s rays. Further to that, environmentally these are the better choice with less harm to endangered areas like the great barrier reef.

Finally, if undertaking worldwide comparisons, the most treasured skins are found in the Far East; the Chinese and Japanese for example  follow a sensible diet with little meat and are near fanatical to avoid the sun !