Health. Winter does not protect against ultraviolet rays. As a reminder, the Karaván Santé de Saint-Paul joined forces with other associations on the Boucan Canot esplanade.
Watch out for ultraviolet rays! This is the message that the Karaván Santé de Saint-Paul conveyed to sunbathing enthusiasts yesterday. From 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., on the Boucan Canot esplanade, the various partners mobilized for the occasion – the departmental council, the League against cancer, the OncoRun network, and the Mi Sol Ré association – therefore raised awareness among passers-by, but also offered a control of the skin thanks to the presence on site of a dermatologist.
“The only way to prevent skin cancer is sun protection”, recalled the coordinator of Karaván Santé, Bertrand Zitte. A prevention, which might seem obvious, but which is not that much. “The Reunionese population has the impression of being used to the sun and therefore ignores the harmful effects on the skin.”
Protecting yourself, therefore, means avoiding exposure to the hottest hours of the day, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., putting on a cap and glasses, avoiding the reverberation of water and sand, of course covering your skin. , ideally with lycra, otherwise with sunscreen “index 50 minimum” or “do not stay still and rewet your skin regularly, without forgetting to apply cream afterwards”, specifies Brigitte Lagardere-Eymery, vice-president of the local committee of the League against cancer. A word of advice: mineral creams are to be preferred to minimize the ecological impact on bathing water.
Winter sun and equally dangerous
If the event took place yesterday, it is not entirely by chance. With the arrival of the southern winter and its more moderate temperatures, the people of Reunion may have the feeling that the sun is less aggressive. However, it is not the case. Thus, in August for example, that is to say in the middle of winter with us, the solar radiation varies between 12 and 14 on the coast, and goes up to 15 on the summits of the island. Because heights are also dangerous. In comparison, solar radiation in metropolitan France at the same period peaks at 7 in the southern part of the country and in the Alps. Extremely notable differences.
“It is not because it is less hot that we are less in danger”, insists Brigitte Lagardere-Eymery, noting “that a lot of awareness-raising work needs to be done here.” Among the most affected, “Young people and women. Sometimes they have the very bad idea of going topless on the beach, but the skin on the breasts is very fragile.”
Main risk of developing cancer. So remember to consult a dermatologist regularly, the visit is reimbursed once a year. And don’t think you’re less prone to risk if your skin is dark. It is still a received idea: “Dark skin is not better protected. Africans, for example, also suffer greatly from the sun.” Spread the word.