A Conversation for How to Survive Extreme Weather

Tropical Sun

Post 1


Many may not regard tropical sun as extreme weather. These are the people who burn in twenty minutes and cannot understand how.

Sunlight hits the earth most directly between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, and as a result, this area sees the most tourism in the colder months of latitudes above and below.

Bleached-out victims of cold weather immediately want to hit the beach and start working on the perfect tan. And since it's winter where they're from, the sun can't be all that strong here, either.

No matter what time of year you arrive, the sun of the tropics will burn unshielded skin in less than twenty minutes. Your best bet is to start out with the highest sun protection you can find. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has set the highest sun protection factor at SPF 30. This is considered total occlusion. You can find products within the next two years before the grandfather clause takes effect that claim higher, but they are not. 30 is tops, period.

If you are going to be in, on, or near the water, you must protect yourself at this level since the reflected rays can be stronger than the direct ones.

Limit exposure to no more than a total of one hour on the first day. Believe it or not, this includes time spent going from car to building, lobby to pool, and shop to shop. It adds up quickly, and sun exposure is cumulative every minute you are out. Remember that riding in an open car is the same as laying by a pool, except you're probably getting wind damage as well.

You will notice that even with SPF 30 protection, some reddening of the skin will occur. This will brown down within twenty-four hours, and your tan will begin. Once the skin begins to protect itself with melanin, you can *gradually* lower the SPF factor of your protection and get on with the tan.

Above all, moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. Inside and out. Drink plenty of non-alcoholic beverages, and mist or apply more moisturizer to the outside as often as possible.

No matter how hard you work on a tan, the skin will slough off the dead skin cells within 72 hours of your last exposure. While it may be worth it to lord a tan over your mates at the pub, it won't last long enough to justify the deep cell damage, and susceptability to melanomas and other cancers that tropical sun exposure causes.

You will find that people who live in tropical locales avoid the sun. They may tell you that they work all the time and don't go to the beach, but the truth is, they know better. They just don't want skin that looks like a leather saddle by the age of 35.

Tropical Sun

Post 2

JAR (happy to be back, but where's Ping?)

One thing though...
Recently people in the know have been discussing the use of SunBlockers. Apparently these oils and cremes hinder your body in getting rid of excess heat, making you prone to heat-shock. Don't know if it's correct, but it's worth noting. Staying out of the sun is a good idea anyway, at least the Tropical one.

Tropical Sun

Post 3


Excellent point!

Most dermatologists now recommend that moisturizers be free of mineral oil for that very reason. It is preferable that skin moisturizers be non-comedogenic (non-pore-blocking) to encourage heat transfer and avoid internal heat build up, as well as preventing blemishes and nasty clogged pores.

The better sunblocks use micro-fine zinc oxide to block UVA and UVB radiation, and aloe and other natural, non-oily moisturizers to prevent the skin from drying out.

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