Naturists Campaigning for Naturism

Do Sun Screens and Lotions Protect us?

With summer around the corner (hard to believe I know, but in a fortnight’s time it will be June), I came across a couple of articles on the BBC News website and I thought it would be useful.

We all know about the harmful effects of UVB from the sun, and no doubt we rely on the blurb on the bottle of suntan cream or lotions of our choice to tell us. Sadly, not everyone knows what all the jargon means but the BBC have provided a handy jargon-buster for us.

Yet, even when we understand the jargon, can we trust what it says? Not according to Which?

Important as the sun might be to our good health, personally I try to follow the mantra my old mum use to frequently tell me: a little bit of everything does you good.

One Response to Do Sun Screens and Lotions Protect us?

  • An article in the August 2011 edition of Germany’s Der Naturist magazine from the DFK covered the subject of sunburn with the German expert Professor Jörg Spitz.
    His opinions included:
    “Our body is an expert at self repair. There are sufficient resources within the skin for this, for example vitamin D. But around 90% of people have too little of this.

    To the question on the importance of Vitamin D, he replied. At one time we thought that Vitamin D was merely responsible for stable bones. Today we know more: Vitamin D has a considerable number of important duties. It is involved in growth and repair processes, protects heart and the digestive system against cancer and diabetes. But the body can only produce Vitamin D with the help of sunlight on the skin.

    How long to spend in the sun depends on the type of hair a person has; blond haired people with pale skin should spend a maximum of ten minutes in full midday sunlight. Those with darker skin can have up to twenty minutes. This time is enough for the fair haired body to produce around 15000 units of Vitamin D – it’s a lower figure for dark skinned people. The daily need of an adult is around 4000 units of Vitamin D. What isn’t needed is stored in fatty tissue and is used in the winter.

    It is important not to prevent the production of Vitamin D by wearing sun cream. A popular misconception is that it is sufficient just to have head and hands exposed to sunlight. As much as possible should be exposed in order to enable the body to absorb maximum sunlight. However the head needs protection from a hat, because this is where 70% of the most dangerous skin cancers start.

    For best results there should be a daily sunbathe between 12 and 2 o’clock, when the sun is shining at its most intensive and the production of Vitamin D is at its greatest.

    If the skin becomes red, then give sunbathing a rest for a couple of days. It’s a bit like sport, if you train too hard, you need a couple of days to recuperate.”

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