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Knowing how to protect yourself from the sun while diving is essential if you want to make the most of your diving vacation.
As soon as you set foot in the Caribbean, the sun and high temperatures invite you to shed layers of clothing and show off your skin. Understandably, but ultraviolet radiation can have serious consequences for divers. Very often sunburns leave divers in bed and ruin their diving plans.
So that you never have this problem again, read this article and protect yourself from the sun in the correct way.
Avoiding UV Rays to Protect from the Sun while Diving
The first thing we need to know to protect ourselves from the sun is how a sunburn occurs. It is the sun’s ultraviolet radiation that causes our skin to have a photosensitive reaction. These rays are known as UV, and are guilty, in addition to sunburn, of skin aging, loss of elasticity, skin cancer, and other effects of photoaging.
Diving lovers are much more exposed to them than other people. We know the sun’s rays lose intensity when they pass through the water and do not affect us at depth, but at the surface, things change. The water reflects from 10 to 100% of UV rays.
To Protect Yourself from The Sun, Avoid the Hours with the Highest Ultraviolet Radiation
When the sun is highest in the sky is the time with the most ultraviolet radiation. It is from 10 am to 2 pm approx. The rays strike almost perpendicularly on the earth’s surface during these hours because they make a shorter path.
Avoiding exposure is the best way to protect yourself from the sun during that time. Do not rely on cloudy weather. Clouds only absorb the light, but not the UV rays, which do not heat but burn.
To Protect Yourself from the Sun while Diving, Cover-Up
In addition to the clear skies of the Caribbean, divers often have to travel to the dive sites by boat. But as the water reflects UV rays, you should take overprotection measures. So:
– Cover your eyes with sunglasses with a UV filter.
– Take advantage of the Dressel Divers boat roof cover, wear a hat, or cap.
– Cover your skin with a physical barrier, for example, the wetsuit.
Regarding this last point, you should know that not just any fabric will do. A cotton T-shirt avoids only 20% of the action of UV rays. The protection is even less if it is white. Lycra, on the other hand, is the most protective textile.
Use Cosmetics with a High Solar Protection Factor (SPF)
Sun Protection Factor is the extent to which the cosmetic (usually creamy lotions) prevents UV rays from damaging the skin. An SPF 30 blocks 97% of these rays, an SPF 50 blocks 99%.
To protect your skin from the sun, you should consider the following points.
- Make sure that the cosmetic chosen has a broad-spectrum sunscreen. In other words, it should offer protection against UVA and UVB rays, which are the ones that damage the skin.
- No sunscreen, regardless of its SPF, remains effective after two hours. Apply it every few hours.
- Apply 30 minutes before sun exposure so that the skin will absorb all the ingredients.
- Be generous with the amount, 2mg of sunscreen per square centimeter.