Safety in the sun

With many Namibians expected to soak up some rays over the Easter weekend, sun safety should be a priority.
The coast becomes a hotspot for Namibians looking to relax over the Easter long weekend.

During holidays, Namibian beaches are packed and the often resulting sunburn from having so much fun in the sun, can be dangerous.

The Cancer Association of Namibia’s chief executive, Rolf Hansen, warns that the hours between 12:00 and 14:00 are when the UV index is at its peak and advises the public to rather stay indoors then.

For the rest of the time, he reminds that regular re-application of sun protection lotion is vital to remain safe. “People never apply enough sunblock to their faces. Many are squeamish because the sun protection factor (SPF) is sometimes oily. But rather an oily face than a skin tumour,” he advises, while recommending sunblock with an SPF of at least 40.

The public can also take extra precaution to protect their faces by wearing wide-brimmed hats when in the sun.

Hansen also warns against putting oil onto your skin to promote tanning. “Stay away from any oil. This is a terrible habit. Rather apply a lower SPF or re-apply it a little less frequently. Putting oil on your skin is dangerous. There are products available that can help you tan more safely.”

He also cautions beach goers to re-apply sunblock after emerging from the water and to pay extra attention to the skin spanning from your wrists to elbows and ankles and tops of feet. “This is where many skin tumours occur.

“Namibia reports roughly 1 200 cases of skin cancer every year and it remains the most prevalent type of cancer in Namibia,” he concluded.