Sunscreen and how to wear it..

image.jpeg Normally in things to carry items for a any trek or expedition will have a sunscreen. But not many know what is a sunscreen and how to use it. Mr. Vishwanath with his experience in high altitude discloses the necessity to carry it and using it.
First of all. It is not a cream that can be applied easily anytime and start. No..!

Yes.Sure that will protect you from the sun exposure...for a little while. But to properly and effectively wear sunscreen and get its maximum benefits, you should follow these sunscreen tips.

 

sun.jpg About Sunscreens and Altitude
There is no better way to prevent sunburn at high altitude than to cover up exposed parts with clothing. There is no suggestion from clinical experience that malignant melanomas are seen commonly in high altitude climbers than in the general population. Obviously, the more benign skin cancers are seen in more commonly in those who spend much time outdoors, and are probably more common in (for example) mountain guides than their office-based peers. Despite the recent publicity on sunscreens and melanomas, there is presently no definite evidence to suggest avoiding the use of sunscreens; there may however be further data about this.

Ultraviolet light
Sunlight is composed of various wavelengths ranging from ultraviolet light through infrared to visible light - ultraviolet light is the most harmful to the skin and causes sunburn, ageing of the skin and, over the long term, skin cancer. Ultraviolet light is made up of UVC, UVB and UVA, UVC being the shorter wavelength that is filtered out by the earth's ozone layer. UVB and UVA penetrate the ozone layer and reach the earth's surface but the atmosphere filters more UVA than UVB. Fortunately, UVA is not quite so powerful in its effects as UVB as it has an additive (cumulative) effect with UVB on the skin. UVB and UVA are the only wavelengths that need to be screened out as we still have an ozone layer over most of the earth!
Ultraviolet light (especially UVA) is harmful to the eye in excessive quantity, acutely causing snow blindness (conjunctivitis) and in the long-term cataract formation. The higher the altitude the more UV light there will be and as snow is a powerful reflector of ultraviolet light, one must take extra caution whilst climbing on snow and ice, especially at altitude (see practical issues). UVB and UVA penetrate clouds thus explaining why sunburn and snow blindness can occur on cloudy days.

neu.jpgSunscreens
There are a variety of substances that can protect against UVB - these work by absorption, whereas UVA screens mainly work by reflection. Zinc or titanium dioxide cream will reflect UVA and UVB but leaves a white film on the skin, so a proprietary sunscreen is often preferable.
There are a variety of substances that can protect against UVB - these work by absorption, whereas UVA screens mainly work by reflection. Zinc or titanium dioxide cream will reflect UVA and UVB but leaves a white film on the skin, so a proprietary sunscreen is often preferable.

 

What is Sun Protection Factor (SPF) ?

     This number only applies to the UVB (screening) action of the sunscreen. For example, when using a product with a SPF15 one can spend fifteen times longer in the sun before becoming sun burnt. Remember, the SPF does not apply to UVA sunscreens so even a product with a SPF25 but with no UVA screen will less effective than a product with a lower SPF but with a UVA screen. When buying, look for a cream that has a high SPF factor, and both a UVA+B block to ensure maximum protection. The other factor that has to be taken into account when choosing a sunscreen is cosmetic acceptability - some people like greasy preparations while others prefer alcohol based lotion preparations that are much easier to apply.

Pros and Cons
Some sunscreens contain PABA (p-amino benzoic acid); these (usually lotions) do sting already burnt skin and will stain clothing yellow. Very rarely an acute dermatitis can occur when using sunscreens but this is fairly obvious as the face swells up and the skin weeps - washing and discontinued use should solve the problem. People taking antibiotics, especially of the tetracycline type can sometimes become photosensitive at high altitudes because the increase in UV light has an effect with tetracycline in the skin.

A high SPF sunscreen with UVA blocking properties should be applied several times a day, remembering that sweat and rubbing the face will reduce the effectiveness of the screen. Remember to wear a pair of good quality sunglasses or goggles on snow and at altitude even in cloudy conditions. Always carry a spare pair of sunglasses, or if you have lost them, make something, e.g. a piece of card with eye slits cut through it, or clothing to cover the eyes.

Practical Issues
Covering the skin (especially the face & arms) is very important at extreme altitude. Facemasks (silk is best) or balaclavas - even when unnecessary for protection against cold - have an important place in the prevention of sunburn. The lips, underside of the nose and the ears also need to be protected and lipsalve with a sunscreen should be used.

The treatment of acute sunburn is to cover the inflamed area and use soothing creams such as calamine lotion. When there is severe skin inflammation over a wide area, e.g. very painful thighs after marching in shorts, a single application of a steroid cream - Betnovate 0.1% - is helpful.

Snow blindness is the intensely painful gritty sensation in the eyes, in which UV radiation has induced inflammation of the cornea and conjunctiva. It is best treated with a combination of a steroid eye drops, e.g. betamethasone 0.1% and an antibiotic, e.g. chloramphenicol eye ointment, three times daily. The inflammation usually settles within 24 hours.

Wear a dark goggles while walking at high altitude to avoid snowblindness.

wear_sunscreen.jpg

 

 

 Four Important Sunscreen Tips To Wear Sunscreen Effectively

When Should You Apply Your Sunscreen?

To be most effective, sunscreen should be applied at least 15-30 minutes before you go out in the sun. It needs the opportunity to penetrate your skin to protect it.

You should apply sunscreen even on days that are not sunny! The UV rays are not blocked by clouds and you still get exposure on cloudy days. Also, the UV rays can reflect off of many different types of surfaces, including snow, water such as the pools, oceans, lakes, and rivers, sand, and even light-colored concrete...so you may be getting sun exposure when you least expect it, even when you are sitting by the pool in the shade!

When you are not camping by the water, many people also feel they don't need to put on sunscreen...this is not a good practice. Sunscreen should be applied every day...even when you are not camping...but especially when you are camping! It is a good camping safety practice because when camping you are outdoors most of the day...the sunscreen helps you prevent a painful sunburn even when you don't feel you are getting sun.


How Much Sunscreen Should You Apply?

Apply liberally. The biggest mistake people make is to apply too little. You should apply one full ounce of sunscreen, which is approximately enough to fill a shot glass, to all areas of your body that are exposed.

Should You Reapply?

A big, fat YES to this question! Reapply your sunscreen throughout the day, at least every two hours, even more frequently if you have been swimming or sweating. Reapply frequently even if the sunscreen you have says it is water resistant, waterproof, or even for those that say they have all-day protection.

Does Sunscreen Expire?

Yes it does! Most sunscreen bottles will have an expiration date on them and you should take it seriously. Over time, the effectiveness of sunscreen does diminish and you want to make sure your sunscreen is as effective as possible!

The FDA requires that sunscreen work at its highest effectiveness for three years...so if you have purchased your sunscreen bottle within the last three years it is most likely still good.

However....remember you should be wearing sunscreen daily, not just when you are camping, so your bottle of sunscreen, if you are applying in proper amounts, should not be lasting you three years.!

Sunscreen Tips are Important Tips!

Because it so important to wear sunscreen and wear it properly, we would like to quickly summarize for you what we mentioned above:
• Wear sunscreen daily
• Re-apply your sunscreen every couple of hours, and even more often if you are swimming or sweating
• Use a minimum of SPF15, SPF 30 is better, we like SPF 70 for the face
• Apply liberally, use about 1 ounce per application.

Thank goodness for sunscreen! Not only does sun protection protect you against a sunburn, but it also protects you from skin cancer, wrinkles, and premature skin aging! Practice good camping safety habits and protect your skin from the sun by covering up.
Let's talk about some sunscreen tips, including the best sunscreens, when to apply it, and a few other important sunscreen facts!

Did you know that any type of a suntan, whether dark or minimal, is a sign of skin damage? Many people think that you can just slap on some sunscreen in the morning and be set for the whole day...this is a sunscreen myth!!!

The Best Sunscreen You Can Use Blocks Both UVA and UVB Rays
Forget the myths...instead, here are some sunscreen facts...There are two different kinds of ultraviolet rays we are exposed to, UVA and UVB. The SPF rating only accounts for the UVB rays...but it is important to wear sunscreen that blocks both types of rays.

SPF and The Best Sunscreens
Sunscreens come in different levels of protection, called SPF or sun protection factor, which is indicated as a number. The higher the SPF, the more protection your skin gets from the sun. The sunscreen will not block all of the rays your skin gets, but the way it works is for the number of SPF you put on, you can stay in the sun ten times that many minutes...for example:
The SPF number lets you calculate how much longer you can stay in the sun with the sunscreen on without getting burned than how long you could stay out without getting burned without any sunscreen on. It is a little complicated....for example, if you start to get a sunburn after 10 minutes being in the sun, then by applying a sunscreen with SPF 15 you can stay in the sun for 150 minutes longer than you would be able to without using any SPF. You simply multiple the number of the SPF by the number of minutes (15 x 10) you can normally stay out in the sun without getting a sunburn to get the number of minutes you can stay out before your skin will burn.

Let's try again...you still can stay out in the sun for 10 minutes when your skin is unprotected before starting to burn...but this time you apply SPF 30. So 10 minutes times SPF 30 gives you 300 minutes. You can stay out in the sun 300 minutes longer than your usual time without sunscreen before your skin will burn.But remember...when you are camping you will probably be outdoors, doing outdoor activities either in the water or around your campsite most of the day, for several days!
Now, I think most people don't know exactly how long they can stay out in the sun before starting to burn...I sure don't! But I recognize the importance of sunscreen...and I always wear sunscreen...even when not camping.

Facial Sunscreen
Neutrogena sunscreen with an SPF of 70. This Neutrogena sunscreen is specially made for the face. It won't clog the pores, and is sweatproof and waterproof. The best part, aside from the SPF 70 protection, is that it doesn't go on heavy and greasy like sunscreens we are used to...it is lightweight and smooth and feels more like a face cream than a sunscreen.
When putting sunscreen on your face, don't forget your lips as well. Many lipsticks or lip balms sold today contain SPF. For sunscreen for your lips, you should use a product with an SPF of at least 15.
Some Recommended Sunscreen Products:
In addition to Neutrogena, here are some of the best sunscreens and sun blocks to protect your skin and lips, recommended by top skin care specialists.

 

Vishwanath Radhakrishna

Summiters was founded  by Vishwanath in the year 2005.  Being an avid nature enthusiast he started this concern as a freelancer and also helped a lot of fellow enthusiasts.  He is a certified Mountaineer  from Nehru institute of mountaineering and trained Wilderness First Responder  from NOLS ; USA.  He conducts wilderness camps in Western ghats , Himalayas and also locally.  He has custom designed  and executed various outdoor based learning activities at school, colleges and corporate levels.  In addition to these, he is a trained passionate PADI scuba diver, a  freelance writer and photographer. His  articles and photographs have been published  in several mainstream news papers and magazines.  He participates at National, International level photo salons and has won several certificate's of merit.

Vishwanath maintains his blogs at: http://.vishwanath.summiters.net/

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