Sunbathing, advices to take sun and avoid sun-burns

Cuba is famous for its beautiful beaches and bright Caribbean sun. The sun shines in Cuba almost throughout the year.

During the summer months, as temperatures rise, people are eager to rush to the nearest beach where, besides playing in the sea and on the sand they will also want to enjoy the sun.

The sun, however, which is everywhere and watches our every move has its own rules. If we do not behave as we should, it may cause irreparable damage to our health with its harmful radiation; on the other hand, if we act carefully and wisely, we will not only get the nice tan we have been dreaming of for years, but we will also protect our health.

Have you ever wondered what produces the tan on your skin you tried so hard to get during your holidays? This tan is one of the body's natural protection mechanisms and the dark colour is caused by melanocytes which are located in the skin and produce a substance called melanin. When the skin is exposed to the sun's ultraviolet rays more and more melanin is produced.

All of us, but even more so people who are fair-skinned, should avoid prolonged exposure to the sun and always use a sun product.

Recommendations for sunbathing and outdoors activities:

1. Stay in the sun as little as possible. Always try at first to expose your body gradually to the sun, without exceeding maximum recommended sun exposure time, depending on your skin type.

2. Individuals with a fair skin should stay in the shadow and always use sun protection products.

3. Always use a sun cream with the appropriate SPF (of at least 15) best suited to you skin type and choose water resistant sun products.

4. During the summer months, when the sun is stronger, try to go for a swim in the morning or in the afternoon and avoid sun exposure between 11.00 a.m. - 3.00 p.m. Always remember that UV rays can harm you even when it is cloudy.

5. Always use sun protection, not only on the beach, but practically all the time. For example, when you drive, if you haven't applied your sun care cream, keep the car's window shut and if you want air open the passenger's window.

6. Even when you are tanned, you should continue to use sun protection, because the sun is ruthless.

7. Protect your eyes with sun glasses and don't forget to pay special attention to the quality of your lenses.

8. Always wear a hat and white clothes that reflect sun radiation more effectively. Even when you are wearing a light cotton shirt you are not totally protected from the sun, since it only has a 6 SPF. So, you should always choose more thickly woven clothes which cover larger body areas.

9. Apply your sun care cream uniformly to achieve uniform protection from harmful sun radiation. Repeat application every two hours.

10. The horizontal position is the most suitable for exposure to the sun rays. In this way you can tan quickly and easily. Nevertheless, do not forget to moisture your skin and to move, so as to avoid the risk of sunburn.

11. Sun reflection on the sand and snow is considerable and almost 90% of radiation returns back to us.

12. Temperature is not a reliable indicator of sun radiation intensity, because you can be exposed to high UVA rays even under low temperature, on a cloudy day for example.

13. If you notice any small tumors or "spots" on your skin, following sun exposure, which were not there before, you should consult a dermatologist or your GP immediately.