Pharmacists urge ‘sun care’ ahead of rising temperatures

  • Pharmacists provide some helpful tips on staying sun safe

 27 May 2020: With the June bank holiday set to bring more warm weather and the sun index high for the next couple of days, the Irish Pharmacy Union (IPU) is urging people to enjoy the good weather by staying safe in the sun.  Pharmacists are also advising parents to be sun smart and protect their children’s skin when they are outside enjoying the fine weather, as children’s skin is very sensitive to the sun’s rays.

Community pharmacist and IPU Executive Committee Member Ann Marie Horan said, “It is important that everyone knows how to enjoy the sun responsibly. While it is fantastic that we’re promised good weather this weekend, unfortunately by Tuesday, pharmacists will see many people suffering from the after-effects of sunburn. Our message is that we would much rather speak with you beforehand, when we can help you with all essential sun care products

Ms Horan advises the following to enjoy the sun safely:

  • Sun cream: Apply sun cream liberally 30 minutes before going outdoors, making sure to cover those areas often forgotten, your neck, ears, nose and feet. Reapply at least every two hours. You should also wear a lip balm with an SPF of at least 15.
  • Wear protective clothing: Consider wearing a hat, particularly if you have thin or thinning hair. Wear sunglasses that provide UVA and UVB protection.
  • Check the UV Index: Throughout the summer, Met Eireann will issue its UV index so you will know how strong the sun will be. This is important as the sun can be strong, even if it is not too warm, particularly on windy days.
  • Limit time in the peak of the sun: In Ireland during the summer, the sun will be strongest from 11 until 3. Try to avoid spending too long outdoors during this time.
  • Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water and remember that both alcohol and caffeine can cause dehydration. You can take over-the-counter rehydration salts if you get very dehydrated.
  • Treat sun burn quickly: Even the most careful of us can suffer sun burn on occasion and it is important to treat this early to minimise damage. First, ensure you prevent any further exposure to the sun. Then visit your pharmacy who can advise on the appropriate treatment, such as soothing lotions and moisturisers.
  • Protect Children: The World Health Organisation says that children are more susceptible to the effects of the sun. Sun exposure during childhood is a significant factor in the development of skin cancers in later life. Children should always wear sun cream when outdoors and it is important, that they cover their skin and use shade throughout the day to limit prolonged exposure.