Advanced search

To think we're far too scared of the sun!

(253 Posts)
BedHanger Thu 09-May-13 08:59:07

A leading lecturer in dermatology at Edinburgh university has said that the benefits of sun exposure "may far outweigh the risks" after a new study has shown an hour's exposure significantly reduces blood pressure:

This is on top of our growing understanding of the vital role played by vitamin d in health.

AIBU to worry more about whether my DC are getting sufficient sun than about the potential risks? I don't let them burn btw, but I do make sure they have plenty of sun cream-free time whenever possible.

hazeyjane Thu 09-May-13 11:11:45

dh has to wear suncream and covers up with a hat and sleeves most of the year, because he works outside and has vitiligo. As he has got older the unpigmented patches have increased, so he is more vulnerable to sun damage. He takes a vit D supplement.

He uses Utrasun factor 50,once a day, and it goes on really easily and doesn't have the plasticky painted on feeling of some of the once a day suncreams.

lisianthus Thu 09-May-13 11:19:06

Yabu- I'm with the cheese. I don't have one relative over the age of 40 who hasn't had a melanoma cut out due to the old "when we were kids we hardly ever wore sunscreen" attitudes. Some of them have odd facial features because of this. Having a chunk cut off your nose or out of your cheek to save your life will do that.

And the problems from early sun damage manifest later in life, so what might seem fine now may well not be.

SchroSawMargeryDaw Thu 09-May-13 11:21:48

Lisian The problem with that is recognizing skin type, if I followed guide lines then I would be wearing factor 50 and completely covering up which just seems like over kill.


I feel so much better when the sun is out and I think people got too obsessed these days about the whole sun protection thing.

scaevola Thu 09-May-13 12:18:24

I've had a suspect mole off. All fine, but terrifying until I knew it was OK. For a friend's DH died, in a short amount of time, from a skin cancer.

Sunburn is very dangerous. Excessive sun exposure even without burning can be risky.

You can supplement safely for vitamin D. It's not possible to set your 'safe' exposure to sun. So I go by Aussie rules for the DCs.

PoppyAmex Thu 09-May-13 12:22:35

scaevola just hit the nail in the head, you can supplement safely for Vit D, so it's crazy to risk unsafe sun exposure.

Being from Portugal and having lived in Australia for 10 years, it scares me how the Brits have this cavalier approach to sunbathing and a lot of people seem to think that:

1. If I dont burn I'm safe
2. The sun in the UK isn't "that strong"
3. I have olive skin so I'm ok

nope, nope, nope!

Pobblewhohasnotoes Thu 09-May-13 12:24:51

There is an increase in rickets in children due to lack of sun exposure.

I'm on vitamin D supplements due to very low levels.

SoggySummer Thu 09-May-13 12:24:51

I am the same as most cautious parents. Slapping on the sun cream, making sure they are not out in sun endlessly especially mid day, sun hats and adequate clothing etc.


I also wonder in how many years it will be before some expert tells us the chemical crap in all these sun creams we slap on our kids cause cancer or some other shitty disease.

It seems no matter what precautions we take to protect our kids (and ourselves) something always evolves X years later to tell us more doom and gloom.

As my granny used to say who lived to 90 odd - "everything in moderation".

turkeyboots Thu 09-May-13 12:25:32

People need to be more sensible with sunshine though. I lost count of the number of half naked lobster people sleeping the in sun between 12 and 3 over the weekend.

Me and mine are very pale, burn in minutes and have family history of skin cancer. I keep us all well covered and creamed in 30+ for most of the day, but before 10am and after 4 or 5 I ease off the precautions. All our vit D levels are fine.

LookingForwardToMarch Thu 09-May-13 12:26:15

Yanbu...for you.

I however am one of the factor 50 all year rounds. I only have to sniff the sun and I burn ( think blonde, blue eyes and skin like casper may be the reason)

And dd is 11 weeks, she also gets creamed. Id rather her get too little sun than too much.

Weegiemum Thu 09-May-13 12:29:11

In Scotland it is impossible to get enough vitD from sun alone for 6 months of the year. Lack of oily fish and also not getting vit d from the fat in milk adds to this.

It's thought to be a factor in why we have one of the highest rates of MS and similar neurological problems in the world.

EuroShaggleton Thu 09-May-13 12:38:44

soggy look at the article about zinc oxide someone posted above...

I also think everything in moderation is key. Some people are far too cautious. We NEED sunlight. We just have to be careful about excessive exposure.

KobayashiMaru Thu 09-May-13 12:43:42

An hour in warm direct sunshine and my pale dc's will be burnt to a crisp. They get plenty of sunlight, but that doesn't mean they should start sunbathing and looking like lobsters!

Gubbins Thu 09-May-13 12:44:08

Cheese, you said: "if you want to use a lighter sunscreen it's fine you just ahve to reapply more often!"


You're right in saying that someone who burns in 5 mins would be protected for 50 minutes in factor 10; but reapplying at that point won't help. It doesn't mean that it wears off after 50 minutes, but that that is how long it will protect you for. So after 50 minutes you need to cover up or get in the shade.

My mother never burnt and never tried to tan, but spent much of her youth outdoors. She had a malignant melanoma excised in 1984, followed up with chemo. For nearly 30 years we thought she was clear, until last summer, when it was found to have metastasized in her lung and she died within a month. Yes, sunshine is good for you, and I don't fear it, but it just stupid to go out in the middle of the day without being covered up.

SchroSawMargeryDaw Thu 09-May-13 12:46:57

"Yes, sunshine is good for you, and I don't fear it, but it just stupid to go out in the middle of the day without being covered up."

I'm sorry about your DM.

For my health at the moment, I need all the sunlight I can get and there is no way that I would cover up.

ThatRuddyAbyssinian Thu 09-May-13 12:49:10

I was amazing by the amount of people I saw last weekend who were lobster red. Idiots.

I burn very easily (caught the sun one day last weekend despite wearing 50SPF and reapplying regularly), so I avoid the sun when I can. Never had a Vit D deficiency. DD luckily does not have my skin tone but I still keep her topped up as much as possible.

We need to get out of the mentality as a society that 'tanned is good'. No it's not.

ThatRuddyAbyssinian Thu 09-May-13 12:49:34

*amazed not amazing. Doh.

infamouspoo Thu 09-May-13 12:54:15

so we have two dermatologists saying different things confused
I burn if you say the word 'sun' so its an easy decision to make but its all very confusiong now.

BedHanger Thu 09-May-13 12:55:52

I think that in our (understandable) desire to avoid the very evident and nasty consequences of over-exposure, though, we are seeing an increase in the less obvious but nasty consequences of under exposure.
Vitamin D deficiency's been linked to MS, diabetes, fractured, and the increase in 'Victorian' diseases like rickets and tuberculosis.

WilsonFrickett Thu 09-May-13 12:56:45

I never wore sunscreen as a child. I had sunstroke at least once every summer, I am covered in freckles and I will eat my hat if I don't have at least one skin cancer scare before I'm 50. It is absolutely in the post for me.

On the other hand, I'm also high risk for oesteoperosis and one thing that will help is, you've guessed it, vitamin D.

So I'm taking a supplement. And I'm putting sunscreen on my DS.

ICBINEG Thu 09-May-13 12:57:14

another with a DM currently living under a terminal malignant melanoma diagnosis....

I got a little burnt at the weekend and I was out for 30 mins after 4pm. ...fucking sun.

I think vit D supplements are a more valid answer than chancing it in the sun.

WilsonFrickett Thu 09-May-13 12:58:54

Weegie I just saw your post about fat in milk, is that because people drink semi-skimmed as a matter of course now or is it about the general quality of milk? Would full fat milk be better for vit D? (we only have organic anyway)

Francagoestohollywood Thu 09-May-13 12:59:51

I am Italian, I live in Italy. I wear sun cream. I don't remember wearing sun hats or sun cream as a child in the 70s. We'll see. Life is risky, in general.

WilsonFrickett Thu 09-May-13 13:00:22

Also weegie my doc said the Scotland equivalent of the surgeon general was doing a big study into vitamin D, for precisely the reasons you mentioned - will await results with interest.

badguider Thu 09-May-13 13:02:58

I have to say I think SPFs have gone pretty crazy lately. I burn in 45-60mins in summer. I wear SPF 20 so that even if I'm out for 10 hours solid (unlikely) that's equivalent to 30mins without.

I do however ensure I use a very long lasting cream (pix buin one day long).

Not many people really need spf50+ in the uk.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now