13th July 2017
Most of us know that we need to protect our skin from the potentially harmful effects of the sun with sunscreen and will slather ourselves in a high factor sunscreen before we head out. What you might not know, however, is that there are a few surprising places you can get sunburnt that you might be missing out on. Check out our guide to the surprising places you can get sunburnt and make sure you’re protecting them this summer.
While you’re concentrating on getting your face and neck well covered in sunscreen, it can be easy to forget that your ears can get burnt too, until they’re crispy and peeling. Just wearing a hat isn’t enough to protect your ears, which can get burnt when you take it off or the sun is at a different angle. To avoid your ears burning make sure you cover them in high factor sunscreen, remembering to do the tops and the backs as well.
This is very unusual, but just too surprising not to include on our list! Fingernails that have become sunburnt end up yellow-toned after sun exposure. It can happen to the nails of both the hands and the feet. Sunburnt fingernails are extremely rare and usually a result of someone taking certain medications. Some companies make nail polishes with UV filters that can protect your nails from damage.
Many people who are very diligent at applying and reapplying sunscreen to their face and body forget the less visible places you can get sunburnt. You might think that your hair will protect your scalp, but it can become badly burnt, especially around the hairline, parting, and any thinning areas. Apply a thin layer of oil-free sunscreen to these areas to protect your scalp, or cover up completely with a hat.
Lots of people don’t realise that their eyes need protecting from the sun, but the eyes can actually become sunburnt after prolonged sun exposure. UV damage can cause the eyes to appear dull, cloudy and discoloured, while the whites can turn reddish or yellowish in appearance. Sunburnt eyes can also feel gritty. Take care to protect your eyes with sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat when you’re out in the sun.
Nothing puts a damper on a summer romance faster than getting your lips sunburnt. You might be surprised to find that your lips can get sunburnt, but they can and it’s painful. Sunburnt lips may feel chapped, sore and cracked. Avoid it by regularly reapplying a high factor lip balm, especially after eating and drinking.
You probably already make sure that the delicate tops of your hands are well protected in the sun, but did you know that the palms of your hands can also get sunburnt? Usually, the palms of your hands will get protected when you’re applying sunscreen to the rest of your body, but this is not the case if you use a spray sunscreen. Make sure you remember to cover your hands too, nothing quite matches the strange pain of sunburnt palms!
Feet are one of the areas that many people forget to put sunscreen on, especially if they are wearing sandals that partially cover the top of the foot. Make sure to put sunscreen all over the foot before you put your shoes on, to avoid painful and embarrassing sunburnt patterns on your feet. Bear in mind that the soles of your feet can also become sunburnt, especially if you are sunbathing with the bottoms of your feet exposed. Cream up your whole foot and let it dry before you walk anywhere!
Covering up is usually a great way to stop yourself from getting sunburnt, but some clothes are more effective at this than others. Clothing that is very light in colour or has a large weave can still be penetrated by the sun’s rays and it is possible for you to get sunburnt. If you are using clothing to protect yourself from the sun, choose clothing that is dark in colour and has a tight weave that can’t be penetrated by the sun.
When you apply sunscreen to your face, it can be easy to forget that your eyelids also need to be protected. Just because your eyes are open doesn’t mean that your eyelids are protected, so it’s important to make sure you have applied sunscreen to this area. This is particularly true if you are likely to be sitting or lying in the sun with your eyes closed. You can also use sunglasses to protect both your eyes and eyelids from the sun.
Your cleavage tends to get less sun exposure throughout the year than your face and neck, meaning it has less natural protection. It can be easy to think that your chest won’t burn because your face doesn’t, but the delicate skin can quickly get damaged if you don’t protect it. It is important to cover the area with a high factor sunscreen if you are planning to wear a low-cut top. If you are wearing a swimsuit, be aware that they tend to move around after you’ve put them on, so be sure to cover the area liberally to prevent unprotected skin from becoming exposed.
If you want a high-quality sunscreen that offers SPF 50/50+ and broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection, why not choose one of SunSense’s Australian Standard-approved sunscreens? Browse the full collection of products for every skin type online.
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