How to enjoy the sun in a healthy way

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To enjoy the sun healthily, ÖGK recommends adequate protection against sunburn and sunstroke.

“In 2022, 3,474 people in Austria needed medical treatment for acute consequences of heat or intense sun exposure. In 2021, the figure was 2,566 patients,” says ÖGK Director General Bernhard Wurzer.

Protection from the sun is often underestimated.
“Heat stress and exhaustion should not be underestimated. Illnesses such as sunstrokes, sunburns or sun allergies can have long-term effects on health,” Wurzer explains. Most people who received medical treatment for heat stress had sunstroke. Meningitis is triggered by prolonged, intense sun exposure. The most common symptoms of sunstroke are severe headache, fever, vomiting and neck stiffness. Heat stroke or heat exhaustion can also be a consequence of sunstroke.

ÖGK recommends taking protection from the sun seriously
Above all, exposure to invisible UV rays is often underestimated, even though UV exposure in Austria is rising. Last year, UV exposure reached its peak in July. UV exposure and heat pose risks to skin health and the cardiovascular system.

“Reliable sun protection, like sunscreen, is the most effective way to prevent heat damage and skin diseases. This is important for all skin types. The sun protection factor should be at least 30 and the cream should protect against UV-A and UV-B rays in a ratio of 1:3. Then nothing stands in the way of a healthy summer,” says Bernhard Wurzer.

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