As the leaves return to the trees and winter transitions to spring, how much more should we protect ourselves from the sun’s harmful UV rays?
The Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) developed a daily Ultraviolet Radiation Index that predicts and reports on UV levels in local cities by date and time. The purpose is to help everyday Australians protect themselves from the sun in a smarter and more informed way, thereby reducing their risk of skin cancer.
According to ARPANSA, if the UV index is less than 3, you can enjoy the outdoors with only minimal protection. If the UV index is 3 or higher, ARPANSA recommends that you wear sun protective clothing, sunscreen and seek shade. We second that recommendation, as our doctors see plenty of patients with malignant spots each year and we treat a number of patients with concerns about sun-related damage to their skin.
ARPANSA’s UV index is especially helpful with telling you what time the radiation peaks to help you plan your day. Planning an afternoon run? Taking the kids to the park? You can check the index and try to go before and after peak times (or bring extra sunscreen if you think you might be out at peak time).
The index also gives us a much more realistic idea of the UV levels outside. For example, people commonly assume that clouds provide some cover, when in fact, some cloud types partially block UV rays while other cloud types reflect and magnify the UV rays that reach us on the ground.
If you’re concerned about UV damage or you’ve noticed new spots, come and see one of our doctors who specialise in skin cancer. Click here to visit the daily UV index on ARPANSA’s website.