Colourful drinks with paper umbrellas sparkling in the sunshine is the crux of a beachside vacation, but new research indicates that too much alcohol beneath those rays can cause serious medical problems. Studies published in the British Journal of Dermatology show that alcohol consumption in the sun can actually increase ones chances of developing melanoma by 20 percent.
We hear a lot about lathering with sunscreen but not so much about drinking at the beach or poolside. After a person drinks alcohol, the body metabolizes and breaks it down into a compound known as acetaldehyde. This compound causes the skin to elevate in sensitivity when exposed to ultra violet rays. The increased sensitivity may increase the susceptibility of cell damage, which ultimately leads to the development of skin cancer.
According to doctors at the Vanguard Dermatology Group in New York City, people are less vigilant with sun safety after they’ve been drinking. Too much alcohol may cause forgetfulness. You may be less likely to apply sun lotion when you’ve had a little too much to drink.
It’s important to stay safe in the sun and be remain cognizant of keeping your body healthy. Here are some helpful tips when in the sun.
Apply sunscreen before you go out
Instead of waiting until you are in the sunshine, apply lotion about thirty minutes before going out. This will give your skin ample time to absorb the lotion and allow you to prepare ahead of time. In the event that you start drinking, there is no chance of damaging your skin by forgetting to apply sunscreen. You’ve already done it.
Give yourself a limit
Consume one or two drinks, but give yourself a limit. The worst thing you can do is drink too much and run the risk of developing skin damage. By limiting your alcohol consumption you are more likely to keep your head about you and remember when you need to reapply lotion or are starting to feel burnt or dehydrated.
Keep water nearby
If you are drinking alcohol outdoors, it is important to keep hydrated with water. Keep a bottle of water nearby to sip in between drinks. If you start to feel dehydrated, get indoors and drink water. Watch your limit and stay hydrated.
Designate a re-applier
Depending on how long you are outdoors, you may need to reapply lotion to your exposed skin. Before you start drinking, designate a friend or someone close to you to be the responsible skin care person. It is almost like having a designated driver, as a lotion re-applier could save your life. According to dermatologists, reapplication should take place every two hours or after you take a dip in the swimming pool.
Dr. Pinaud is a registered Clinical Counsellor (BCACC#1992) based in North Vancouver, British Columbia, who specializes in relationship issues that include couples, families, and single individuals who may have had unsuccessful experiences in the past or are wanting to be involved in a long term committed relationship for the first time.
Over 20 years ago, Dr. Pinaud went through a painful divorce. At that time he enrolled in a course called “Rebuilding” by Dr. Bruce Fisher, which became the catalyst for significant growth and sparked his interest in Psychology. As a result he was trained and became a facilitator for this course. This led to the completion of a Masters in Psychology and a Doctorate in Counselling Psychology. The learning and passion for Dr. Pinaud's work continues to grow.