According to the WHO, prevention is the best ally to avoid skin cancer and it is therefore essential to take precautions when you are going to be in the sun for a prolonged period.

Recommendations according to the different parameters of the UV index:

  • Low UV index (0-2):

Although the risk of harm is low, it is still essential to take precautions.

Recommendations: Apply sunscreen with at least SPF 30, wear sunglasses with UV protection and consider wearing a wide-brimmed hat and light, protective clothing if you spend a lot of time outdoors.

  • Moderate UV index (3-5):

Take precautions, especially during midday, when UV rays are most intense.

Recommendations: Use sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher, wear sunglasses with UV protection, seek shade during peak sun hours (usually between 10am and 4pm) and cover exposed skin with clothing.

  • High UV index (6-7):

Protect yourself from sun exposure to reduce the risk of damage.

Recommendations: Apply sunscreen with at least SPF 30 and reapply every two hours, wear protective clothing, including a wide-brimmed, long-sleeved hat, and stay in the shade during midday.

  • Very high UV index (8-10):

Take extra precautions to avoid prolonged exposure to the sun.

Recommendations: Minimise outdoor activities during midday, wear protective clothing and use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher.

  • Extreme UV index (11+):

The risk of sun damage is exceptionally high, exercise caution.

Recommendations: Avoid sun exposure during midday hours, wear protective clothing, use  sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher and consider wearing sunglasses with UV filters.

It is important to note that the UV index can vary depending on location, time of day, season, and weather conditions. Everyone should regularly check the UV index forecast for their area via weather websites or mobile apps. In addition, if you are fair-skinned, have a history of skin cancer or photosensitivity it is advisable to take even more precautions to protect your health.

General recommendations:

The WHO recommends the following protective measures against excessive exposure to ultraviolet radiation:

  • Limit the time of exposure to midday sun; shade will always be our best ally.
  • Wear protective clothing. For example, wide-brimmed hats will protect your eyes, face, ears, and neck.
  • Don’t forget to wear wraparound sunglasses that guarantee 99% to 100% protection against UVB and A rays;
  • Apply sunscreen to areas of skin that cannot be covered by clothing 20 minutes before sun exposure. Find out how to use sunscreen correctly.
  • Do not use artificial tanning devices, as they increase the risk of skin cancer. Artificial tanning should never be used to achieve a sufficient vitamin D level.

Recommendations for physical activity in the presence of UV rays:

  • Avoid activities between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., when UV concentration is highest.
  • Wear light-coloured clothing.
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