The sun in Australia is intense and caution should be taken when spending long periods of time outdoors. Any sun injury enough to cause tanning will increase your risk of skin cancer and premature aging of the skin. If you are taking medication it is important that you consult your Doctor concerning the chances of photosensitization occurring. Photosensitization is an increased sensitivity to sun exposure, it is a possible side effect of certain medications, including certain kinds of antibiotics, heart and blood pressure medicines, antihistamines and antidepressants. Things you can do to minimise your chances of getting over exposed to the sun include:
The best sunscreens have a sun protection factor of 15+ or more. There are a number of sunscreens on the market in Australia that go up to SPF 50.
It is very difficult to treat sunburn once it has occurred, prevention is the best medicine. If, however, you do end up getting burnt then it is vitally important that you do not expose yourself to further damaging rays. Stay indoors until the burning subsides or pack on the sunscreen and cover up with clothing.
Many of our beaches are quite long making it difficult if not impossible to patrol their entire length. The SLSC of Australia does an excellent job of patrolling our beaches and bathers should always listen to their advice with regard to safe swimming zones. You should always swim on patrolled beaches between the red and yellow flags and cooperate with the directions of the lifeguards on duty.