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  • Writer's pictureForte Pharmacy

Stay sun smart this summer

New Zealand has some of the strongest levels of UV radiation in the world which contributes to our high rate of skin cancers. Melanoma specifically is among the highest in the world and the most common skin cancer in New Zealand.

It is important that you choose a sunscreen that is broad-spectrum which help protect the skin from damages of UVA (causes premature skin aging) and UVB (causes sunburn).

To make the most of your sunny days, here are some tips on how to stay sun smart and enjoy all the great outdoor activities.

The 5 S's

  • Slip - on clothing (long sleeve)

  • Slop - on sunscreen (SPF of at least 30)

  • Slap - on a hat

  • Seek - shade / shelter (umbrella)

  • Slide - on sunglasses

How to apply your sunscreen

  • The teaspoon rule - apply a one teaspoon of the sunscreen to face, each arm, and each leg. Torso needs to be thoroughly covered. On average adult body, that's at least 7 teaspoons of sunscreen

  • Apply sunscreen 20 minutes before going into the sun

  • Re-apply at least every 2 hours and also after getting out of the water. Water resistant sunscreen can rub off when you towel dry or sweat


  • Act quickly, get out of the sun and start treatment immediately

  • Apply a cold compress or immerse the affected area under cold water

  • Gently apply moisturising cream or gel such as Aloe Vera to cool and soothe the skin

  • Stay out of the sun until the burn fades and heals completely

Helpful tips

  • It is a good idea to consider staying out of the sun during the hottest time of the day. So plan to do outdoor activities early in the morning or later in the afternoon

  • Stay hydrated by always having a drink bottle nearby

  • Seek medical advice if you get blisters and they break, in severe pain, or the sunburn is associated with fever, chills, nausea and vomiting

Skin regular check up - if you're concerned about a mole or skin spots, get it checked by your doctor immediately.

Ask our staff for more information on staying sun smart and enjoying the sun safely.

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