Keys to protect your skin from the sun, according to your phototype
Summer and good weather arrive and with them the unstoppable desires of going out to enjoy nature, the sea ... and sunbathing. In the latter case, we have long been recipients of an important work of awareness about the harmful effects that ultraviolet rays can cause on our skin, such as skin cancer, in the worst case.
Dermatologists insist every year that we must protect ourselves adequately by sunscreen, clothing, sunglasses, hats ... and be careful with the time of exposure to the sun.
One of the resources that we have at our fingertips are sunscreens, but it is important to know how to use them correctly and therefore, before acquiring a solar lotion, it is necessary to know the needs and individual characteristics of each skin.
What capacity does your skin have to withstand solar radiation?
This information can be given by the phototype, which is the index that defines the ability of the skin to assimilate solar radiation. There is a lot of types:
- Phototype I and II: people of very pale skin, generally redheaded, blond, with skin that barely tans and almost always burns when exposed to prolonged exposure to direct sunlight.
- Phototype III: It is the most common. Corresponds to people with brown hair and intermediate skins, who redden first and tan after exposure to the sun.
- Phototype IV and V: People of dark or black hair belong to this group, of dark skin that tans quickly when exposed to direct sunlight.
- Phototype VI: typical of people of African descent
A protection factor for each skin phototype
Once we have our phototype clear, we should ask ourselves what is the sun protection factor (SPF) that best suits us. This index gives us an idea of how long we can remain exposed to the sun without the risk of suffering a burn. The lower the phototype, the greater the protection factor we need.
In this way:
1. people with phototypes I and II dthey should use, at least, a product with SPF of 30.
2. people with phototypes III-IV they should use sunscreen creams with a minimum of 20
3. the minimum V-VI phototypes of 15.
"Broad spectrum" and water resistant protectors must be chosen.
Tips to avoid heat shock and dehydration
It is also convenient to follow a series of tips to avoid heat shock and dehydration in children:
- During the first week of solar exposure uses a lotion with a high SPF.
- Do not expose yourself to the sun between 12:00 and 16:00 hours
- Apply the protector 30 minutes before starting the exhibition and repeat the application every 2 hours and after each bath, to exercise or if you have sweated a lot. It is also convenient to use sunscreen even if it is cloudy.
- Extends a quantity of sunscreen on the skin that covers all the exposed surface homogeneously and sufficiently, including the lips, ears, neck and back of the feet.
- Protect yourself looking for the shadow and using hats or caps, T-shirts, pareos or other suitable garments and glasses.
- Drink water frequently to maintain proper hydration.
And enjoy the sun without risks.
Dr. Cristina Núñez.Dermatologist at the Hospital La Milagrosa in Madrid