Port Kennedy Central Shopping Centre

Shop 8B/397 Warnbro Sound Avenue, 

Port Kennedy WA 6172

Port Kennedy Pharmacy

UVR refers to Ultra Violet Radiation, an invisible energy produced by our Sun and artificial sources such as solariums. It is made up of UVA, UVB and UVC. Unlike sunlight and heat, we can’t feel UVR so can sometimes be unaware of the damage it can and does do.

UVC is the most dangerous but almost all of it is absorbed by the Earth’s ozone layer. Both UVA and UVB cause cancer. UVB also causes sunburn and has been implicated in cataracts, eye cancers and pterygiums whereas UVA gives you wrinkles and causes premature ageing!

Overexposure to UVR kills cells on the upper layer of our skin and what cells it doesn’t kill, get damaged. Our risk of skin cancer is an accumulation of all the damage our skin has endured from young, even if no sunburn has occurred! Hence, sun protection must start from an early age and continue for the rest of our lives. Risk of skin cancer from solar UVR is influenced by a number of factors such as skin tone (fairer skin is a higher risk), indoor versus outdoor work (exposure is 5 to 10 times higher), cloud cover (UV passes through clouds so you can get burn just as easily, if not easier on a cloudy day, highly reflective surfaces such as water and snow, concrete and glass and time of the day  (highest UVR level in the middle of the day).

Regardless of skin type and environment, age and occupation, sun protection is recommended for ALL people of ALL ages as it is the most effective way of reducing our risk of skin cancer. In fact, skin cancer is almost entirely preventable and as a nation, we have been improving our knowledge and ability to effect better sun protection.

Sun protection is recommended when the UV index is 3 and above – you can check this on the Sun Smart App or online or through the Bureau of Meteorology. Sun protection is also useful when UV index is under 3 if you work outdoors, on or near reflective surfaces, at altitude or for extended periods of time.

One of the most effective sun protection measures is using a sunscreen. Selecting the most appropriate product and using it correctly is crucial. Ideally, a broad spectrum sunscreen with SPF of at least 30 that is also water resistant should be used and be applied at least 20 minutes before exposure, re-applied every two hours or sooner if it gets washed off by sweat or activities.

SPF or sun protection factor is an indication of how much UVR the product filters (30+ filters out 97.3% and 50+ filters out 98%; there is no product that filters out 100%). It is also not a suggestion of how long we can stay out in the sun and certainly does not mean we don’t need to take other precautions such as slipping on protective clothing, a broad-brimmed hat, wearing sunglasses and seeking shade.

Australia is indeed a sun-blessed country so let’s us all become Sun Smart as well and enjoy our beautiful climate in all its glory.

For handy tips in sun protection, check out our new Facebook video!

What's up with UVR?

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Port Kennedy Central Shopping Centre,

Shop 8B/397 Warnbro Sound Avenue, Port Kennedy WA 6172

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