In a recent Instagram, Georgie Gardner has revealed her skin cancer scare.
The photo, which shows her with bandages around her mouth, is captioned "Gentle reminder to be sun smart & get skin checked - squamous cell carcinoma cut out #sore".
The Weekly wishes Georgie all the best in her recovery, and encourages all Australians to be sunsmart this weekend. The weekends, no matter how cloudy they may seem, are the most deadly time for UV exposure.
To protect yourself, and others, against skin cancers, make sure to follow the following tips and guidelines.
What is sunburn?
The redness of the skin, what we call sunburn, is caused by surface blood vessels of the skin starting to dilate (similar to cheeks being made red by pinching) as a reaction to the UV radiation of the sun (specifically UVB rays). No doubt, your next question is, "What is the difference between UVA and UVB radiation?" UVA rays are the ageing rays and UVB the burning rays, and both are harmful to the skin.
The dark side of tanning
Gone are the days of the tan as a status symbol of the West (in the Middle East, India and many parts of Asia it is the opposite, with white skin symbolising a higher social status). These days, we are all on the hunt for products and services that will give us flawless, youthful skin.
One way to achieve this is to protect your skin every day by using a broad spectrum sunblock cream. Remember, though, that the sun doesn’t only affect you while on holidays/in a swimsuit/playing outdoors, so make sure you have a defence against it each time you leave the house. UVA rays ("A" for ageing) are also strong enough to penetrate glass, so don’t think that your skin is protected by the windscreen when you’re on a lovely Sunday drive.
Even the best of us stumble and fall at the altar of the sun every now and then (hopefully not often) and end up with a bit of sunburn (perhaps you missed a spot with the sun cream or the water was just so nice that you forgot to get out and reapply).
The first thing to do if you are sunburned is to cool down by running a cool or cold bath or shower, to take the initial sting out of the burn, and drink lots of water. Next is to get some anti-oxidants onto your skin as soon as you can, such as a body lotion with vitamins A, E and C in it, spread liberally over your body. The anti-oxidants help resist the free radicals in your skin that have been awakened by too much exposure to sunlight.
The damage the free radicals are causing continues for up to 72 hours, so keep your skin well covered with anti-oxidants for as much of that time as possible.
Once the initial burn has started to go down, you can follow up with sun damage repair products (gels or sprays usually). Also take some vitamin C and E supplements to help your body keep up the fight against free radicals.
The best way to achieve the "I've just returned from summering on the Continent" sun-kissed look is artificially. There are so many fake tan products on the market that we've barely scratched the surface, but we've put together a few of our favourites. One thing to remember with fake tanning is skin preparation - it is essential. Otherwise, all the time you spend gloved up in front of the mirror, bending into awkward positions, will be wasted when your elbows and knees turn a bright white (because you didn’t exfoliate first).
A full face of make-up at the beach is about as natural as nylon - not a good look. Let your skin breathe on the beach by cutting make-up down to the bare essentials - waterproof mascara and an SPF30+ tinted moisturiser for your face and body. The debate around tinted moisturiser is as old as the hills. Some swear by it, while others argue it is neither a good moisturiser nor a good foundation. Yet it is a safe way to keep some colour on your face while you're hitting the waves or paddling in the pool.
Don't forget your lips. Lips don't tan, but they sure do burn. Make sure to reapply lip balm with SPF as often as you can. Each time you take a sip of water or get dumped by a wave (and get a mouthful of water), your lip balm gets washed off. So, when you reapply your sunblock, pop your lip balm on again.