Crystal clear turquoise waters, endless white sand beaches, perfect temperate weather- a vacation in the Bahamas is heavenly. It is easy to wile away the hours of the day under the hot Bahamas sun, reading a book or sipping a cocktail. Unfortunately, your dream vacation can be less than perfect if you do not take certain precautions while basking in the sun.
The islands of the Bahamas have earned their reputation as popular tourist destinations in large part due to the weather. The islands have a temperate climate of 80-90 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the year, and the sun is almost always shining. To enjoy your trip to the Bahamas to the fullest, it is wise to be aware of the dangers of the sun and protect yourself from its potentially dangerous ultra-violet rays.
Short of staying out of the sun completely, the best method of sun protection is to wear sunscreen. Dermatologists recommend that you wear a sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 8, but an SPF 15 is generally thought to be ideal. Sunscreen should be applied liberally 30 minutes prior to sun exposure and should be reapplied throughout the day. Different skin types will handle the sun’s rays in varying degrees. Ensure yourself that the SPF protection in your sunscreen will suffice by carefully assessing your skin and its needs. Be aware that the sun’s rays are hottest between the hours of 11 am and approximately 3 pm. During this time, it is wise to give your skin some time out of the sun; perhaps you can take refuge under the shady palm trees.
In addition to sunscreen, you should always wear a hat with a brim wide enough to offer sun protection. Do not forget to sufficiently cover your body with a light-weight cotton long-sleeved shirt when you suspect that your skin has had enough sun. Finally, be sure to provide your body with an adequate amount of water. Becoming dehydrated in the hot Bahamas sun can make you very ill and can cost you a day of your vacation.
Beware, aside from a nasty sunburn or dehydration, the outcome of over-exposure to the sun can be much worse. Skin cancer is very serious and if left untreated can be fatal. Watch for signs of skin cancer on your body, notably, irregular or discolored moles or sores that bleed and do not heal. You should be checking yourself from head to toe and do not forget the top of your head!
Sunscreen helps build a barrier against the sun’s harmful ultra-violet rays; it not only decreases your chances of sunburn, but also helps safeguard your body from skin cancer. It takes little time and preparation to safely enjoy the wonderful rays of the Bahamas sun!
Fred Coolridge is the content manager and author for the website Great Exuma Island, Bahamas - http://www.exumabahamas.org .