What should I know about sun protection?

Admin 30 Jun , 2020

Information gathered and prepared by S. Bruni
Registered Pharmacist, Portage Medical Family Health Team

Come on Sunshine!

What should I know about sun protection?

  • Sunscreen can help prevent skin cancer that is caused by exposure to UV light and prevent premature skin aging.
  • UVB rays mostly cause sunburn. UVA rays can cause early skin aging and skin cancer. We recommend a sunscreen labelled “broad spectrum” to protect against both UVA and UVB rays and with an SPF of 30 or higher (some individuals require stronger SPF.
    • FUN FACT! SPF (sun protection factor): SPF describes the amount of UVB protection (i.e., protection against sunburn) that a sunscreen provides and is not related to the amount of time it provides protection.
  • Limit your time in the sun (especially between 10 AM and 2 PM when the sun’s rays are the strongest).
  • Don’t forget your sunglasses (ones that block UV rays) and that you can still get a burn even if it is cloudy outside!
  • Tightly woven dry clothes → reflect almost all UV rays.
  • If light passes through clothing held up to the sun → UV rays will pass through to skin.
  • Wet clothes → half of UV rays to pass through to skin.
  • Protect the skin → wear long-sleeved shirts, pants and wide brimmed hats.

Remember the importance of applying sunscreen properly!

  • Apply sunscreen 15 to 30 minutes before sun exposure for the best effectiveness.
  • Apply sunscreen every morning to face (don’t forget your ears and lips!), neck and hands.
  • To protect your lips, choose a lip balm with SPF 30 or higher.
  • Apply sunscreen generously to all exposed skin (most people apply only 1/4 to 1/2 of the recommended amount, putting their skin at risk!)
  • The average sized adult should apply a total of 1 to 3 tablespoons (about a handful) of sunscreen per full-body application.
  • This works out to about 1 teaspoon (per body part) to face/scalp and each arm, and 2 teaspoons (per body part) to torso and each leg.
  • REMINDER!! Reapply sunscreen at least every 2 hours.
  • Reapply even sooner if you are sweating or swimming.
  • Product labelling will read “water resistant,” and must indicate whether the sunscreen remains effective for 40 minutes or 80 minutes while a person is swimming or sweating.

Chemical Sunscreens
-Usually include combinations of ingredients avobenzone, homosalate, octinoxate, oxybenzone, mexoryl SX etc.
-Most common products
-Easier to apply

Physical Sunscreens
-Zinc oxide or titanium dioxide
-Can be thick and harder to apply but there are  formulations that may make application easier

Both chemical and physical sunscreens are effective.
Find a product that you like and be sure to apply it properly!

Medications: Some may make your skin more sensitive to the sun and cause reactions such as an itchy, red rash or exaggerated sunburns. You should be advised by your pharmacist to minimize sun exposure and to use broad-spectrum sunscreens when sun exposure cannot be avoided.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding sun protection or require individual recommendations, please contact the Portage Medical Family Health Team for an individual appointment with the team Pharmacist.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seniors and Keeping Hydrated

Admin 11 Jun , 2020

Information gathered and prepared by A. DiLibero, Registered Dietitian, Portage Medical Family Health Team

Seniors and Keeping Hydrated

Hydration is important year round however during warmer weather staying well hydrated is essential.  Seniors are at increased risk for dehydration for many reasons including:

  • Decreased thirst sensation
  • Medications
  • Incontinence
  • Changes in functional ability
  • Cognitive impairment

Dehydration is a common cause of hospitalization among the elderly and symptoms of dehydration often go unrecognized.  Below are some of the signs of dehydration:

  • Dizziness, weakness and confusion
  • Dark strong smelling urine
  • Increase risk of falls
  • Constipation
  • Low blood pressure

Many follow the general rule of drinking 8 to 10 glasses of water daily however some people can tolerate less and some will need more, like in the summer months if you are sweating.  Also, some medical conditions like heart failure require more specific fluid needs.  When choosing beverages check for ingredients like sodium and sugar which can affect health conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes.

Facts on Fluids – How to Stay Hydrated – UnlockFood.ca

Tips for Increasing Water Intake

  • Keep a variety of sources on hand – you don’t have to just drink water to stay hydrated. Coffee, tea, milk, sparkling water and foods like yogurt, custard, fruit and vegetables help keep us hydrated.
  • Keep a drink close by at all times. Sip something throughout the day. If you wait until you are thirsty to drink you are likely already dehydrated.  Keep a drink in a place where you can see it often like on the kitchen table or beside your favourite chair.  Use an insulated cup that regulates the temperature and is easy to take with you on the go.
  • Experiment with different temperatures and flavours. Try adding cucumbers, mint, berries or orange slices to make drinks more appealing.
  • Include smoothies and meal supplements for meals and snacks.

Making Smoothies with More Calories and Protein – Alberta …