Many baby-boomers will remember Gerry & the Pacemaker’s 1964 hit which many, including myself, consider to be one of the finest songs ever written by him ( Liverpool football fans will disagree, I’m sure, in favour of “You’ll Never Walk Alone”). Have a listen here:
This tune came to mind when a reader wrote in to say that, now that summer’s round the corner(she’s from Denmark), would I mind elaborating on do’s and don’ts in exposing the body to the sun.
The first condition that comes to mind is of course, sunburn as a result of suntanning. Sunworshippers would know that their first defence would be the simple things like sun umbrellas, sunhats and sunglasses. The second defence would be using suntan lotions, where the higher the SPF (sun protection factor), the greater the protection. They do have the disadvantage however that they do tend to wash off after swimming or sweating. Alternatively, zinc oxide which comes in day-glo colours nowadays can be applied to sensitive areas like the forehead,nose and cheeks. Don’t be misled by a cloudy sky as ultraviolet radiation is the real culprit in causing sunburn of the skin which appears painfully a few hours later as redness, tenderness and blistering.
A lesser-known but more troublesome condition is a skin disease that causes redness and rashes over those parts of the skin exposed to sunlight (or even indoor spotlights) called actinic dermatitis, otherwise known as photosensitive dermatitis. This does not lead to cancer of the skin, unlike a related condition called actinic keratosis, which may lead to skin cancer.
And does Bill Clinton have a permanent sunburn? Afraid not, he has been documented to have rosacea, but that’s another story..