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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    How do I manage skin type 1 when out in the sun?

    Related Topics
    I have very light skin type 1. I am from central Europe and planning to go to Sydney for several months.

    I feel that my skin will really limit my freedom to be outside and enjoy myself — I've researched and apparently I can only be outside for 1 to 1.5 hours per day, with factor 30 sun screen. I get sun burn very quickly and my skin doesn't really tan, so it probably won't adjust either.

    I'd like to try out surfing and spend some time on the beach, and of course I want to explore the city. All of this exposes me to sunlight; the beach is probably worse because of the water.

    Is it really this bad? Is there anything else I can do?
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  • Dr Mark McGovern

    Plastic Surgeon (Reconstructive & Cosmetic)

    Hi, my name is Mark McGovern. I am a qualified Cosmetic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon. I have been in practice on the Sunshine Coast since … View Profile

    It's great to see someone interested in protecting their skin from our hot Australian sun and planning how to go about this! With a little care you can do all of the above, you don't have to miss out on any fun whilst you're here.
    The main aim is to plan your day so that all activities  that involve maximal sun exposure are carried out when UVB rays are less strong. That means before 10am and after 3pm. Avoid the heat of the dat wherever possible. Of course you should wear a good sunscreen with a 50+ SPF (sun protection factor) rating. The sunscreen should also contain either/ or (preferably both) - titanium dioxide and zinc oxide for the ultimate protection. Choose a 4 hour water resistant version when on the beach or involved in water sports.
    Light cotton clothing is ideal for travel in as it is cool and gives a little extra sun protection. A long sleeve rash vest is a great investment if your planning lots of beach activities and they're readily available in Australia
    A hat is a must. I suggest a wide brimmed hat and a cap. The cap is useful when in windy conditions.  I hope this helps. Have a fabulous time in Australia! Mark McGovern

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