Do not underestimate the sun's rays - protect your skin well from the spring sun

In summer, children's life takes place mainly outside. Consistent protection against strong UV exposure and sunburn is all the more important at this time. (Image: candy1812 / fotolia.com)

Skin is not yet used to strong sun rays - sufficient sun protection is necessary

Temperatures up to 25 degrees: finally summery weather has returned. So let's go out into nature, the garden or a café. But be careful: the protective mechanisms of our skin are not yet so well developed after the long winter months. This is why you should ensure that you have adequate sun protection in spring too - especially with children.

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Spring sun is often underestimated

The current temperatures attract most people outside. After the long winter months, there is hardly anything nicer than to soak up a bit of sun again in the garden, in nature or in a café. However, caution should be exercised. Especially on the first nice days of the year, the power of the sun is easily underestimated and there is a risk of sunburn. And this increases the risk of developing cancer. Every sunburn is added to your own skin account, dermatologists warn. Sufficient sun protection should be considered, especially with children.

In spring, the sun can be just as intense on some days as in midsummer. Therefore, adequate sun protection should always be ensured - especially with children. (Image: candy1812 / fotolia.com)

The sun can be as intense in spring as it is in midsummer

Whether on the balcony, in the beer garden or during a bike tour: you can finally let yourself be pampered again by the warming, soothing rays of the spring sun.

The sun's UV rays are not only important for our psychological wellbeing, but also help to form the vital vitamin D, strengthen our immune system, control the hormonal balance and stimulate the metabolism.

Health experts urge caution, because too much sun causes skin cancer.

“In spring, the sun is just as intense on some days as in midsummer,” explains Dr. Frank Meiß from the University Medical Center Freiburg in a communication.

"In addition, the skin's UV protection mechanisms are only developed to a limited extent due to the lack of sunshine in winter," says the dermatologist.

"That is why the skin should be covered with a sunscreen with a sun protection factor of at least 30 in the spring if you are outside for a long time."

UV radiation is carcinogenic

In Germany, around 21,200 people are newly diagnosed with black skin cancer, malignant melanoma, every year. Every year 120,000 people develop white skin cancer for the first time.

While black skin cancer is very aggressive and can also be fatal, white skin cancer is usually benign if diagnosed in good time.

“UV radiation or ultraviolet radiation is clearly carcinogenic. This applies to both the ultraviolet components of solar radiation and the UV light that tans the skin in solariums, ”explains Dr. Meiß.

The UV radiation is strong enough to permanently damage the genetic material, the DNA. The body repairs minor changes in the DNA by itself.

If sun damage occurs again and again due to insufficient sun protection, especially in childhood and adolescence, the damaged cells can develop into tumors in the long term. “This often happens before a visible sunburn occurs,” says the doctor.

Think of adequate sun protection

Health experts advise protecting yourself from the sun from an early age. Basically, it is important not to save on creaming. If you are outdoors for a long time, you should reapply sunscreen.

The sun protection must be renewed several times depending on the skin type and leisure behavior, such as bathing and heavy sweating. Only then does it work accordingly.

“But repeated creaming does not increase the skin's own protection time,” explains the dermatologist. "The recommended protection time only applies once a day and only two thirds of it should be used."

An example is given in the communication from the Freiburg University Hospital: The self-protection of type II skin, blonde hair and blue eyes, takes ten to 20 minutes and is increased by a factor of 30 to a total of five or ten by applying sun protection factor 30 Hours.

However, experts recommend spending a maximum of two thirds of this time in the sun. For type II, the stay in the sun is then reduced to three to a maximum of six hours.

Protection of sensitive children's skin

The skin of infants and children is particularly at risk because the skin has not yet developed any self-protection.

“As a matter of principle, babies are not allowed in direct sunlight. In order to protect children's sensitive skin, besides sunscreen, special UV protective clothing and a sun hat make sense. Shadows should therefore always be preferred and the midday sun should be avoided to play, ”says Dr. Meiß.

Dr. Utta Petzold, dermatologist at the Barmer health insurance company: “Sunscreen can protect against sunburn, but it is not a free ticket. It is more important to adapt your leisure activities to the time of year, time of day and UV exposure, ”the doctor said in a message.

A walk in the morning is usually harmless in spring.

Vitamin D formation despite sun protection

Sunlight is very important because it provides the body with the largest proportion of the vital vitamin D through the skin.

"The fear that the application of sunscreen prevents the body from producing sufficient vitamin D is unfounded," explains Dr. Meiß.

"For most people, short UV exposure times are sufficient for adequate vitamin D production," says the dermatologist.

According to Barmer, enough UV radiation can still reach the skin even when the sky is cloudy. (ad)

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