Sun exposure and vitamin D

UV radiation from the sun causes skin cancer, but it is also the best source of vitamin D, which is needed to develop and maintain healthy bones. The amount of sunlight you need for vitamin D depends on several factors, including the UV level, your skin type and your lifestyle.

UV levels vary across Australia, so the time you need to spend in the sun will be determined by your location, the season and the time of day, cloud coverage and the environment.

The body can only absorb a limited amount of vitamin D at a time. Getting more sun than recommended does not increase your vitamin D levels, but it does increase your skin cancer risk. For most people, just 15–20 minutes of incidental sun exposure, such as walking from the office to get lunch or hanging out the washing, is enough to produce the required vitamin D level.

Getting too much UV is not recommended, even for people with a vitamin D deficiency. After a melanoma diagnosis, if you are concerned about vitamin D deficiency talk to your doctor about the best ways to maintain vitamin D while reducing your risk of further melanomas. Your doctor may recommend taking a supplement.


Protecting your skin from the sun

After a diagnosis of melanoma, you should check your skin regularly and follow SunSmart behaviour. When UV levels are 3 or above, use a combination of measures to protect your skin.

slip on clothing

Slip on clothing

Wear clothing that covers your shoulders, neck, arms, legs and body. Choose closely woven fabric or fabric with a high ultraviolet protection factor rating (UPF).

slap on a hat

Slap on a hat

Wear a broad-brimmed hat that shades your face, neck and ears. Hats for children aged under 8 years should have at least a 5 cm brim, and hats for children aged 8 –12 should have at least a 6 cm brim. Adult hats should have at least a 7.5 cm brim.

Slop on sunscreen

Use an SPF 30+  or higher broad-spectrum sunscreen. Use a water-resistant product for sports and swimming. Apply a generous amount of sunscreen 20 minutes before going out and reapply every two hours, or after swimming or any activity that causes you to sweat or rub it off.

Avoid sun lamps and solariums

Do not use sun lamps, solariums or tanning beds (banned for commercial use), which give off UV radiation.

Seek shade

Use shade from trees, umbrellas, buildings or any type of canopy. UV radiation is reflective and bounces off surfaces, such as concrete, water, sand and snow. If you can see the sky through the shade, even if the direct sun is blocked, the shade will not completely protect you from UV.

Check sun protection times every day

Check the sun protection times for your local area through the SunSmart app, online (Sunsmart or bom.gov.au/uv), in the weather section of daily newspapers, or with a free website widget.

protect children

Protect children

Use a combination of sun protection measures to protect babies and children from direct exposure to sunlight. Applying sunscreen on babies under 6 months is not recommended.

Slide on sunglasses

Protect your eyes with sunglasses that meet the Australian Standard AS 1067. Wraparound styles are best. Sunglasses should be worn all year round.


Click on the icon below to download a PDF booklet on melanoma


Printed copies are available for free - Call 13 11 20 to order

Instructions for downloading and reading EPUB files

Apple devices

The iBooks application must be installed on your Apple device before you can read the EPUB.
Different ways to download an EPUB file to your Apple device:

  • email EPUB files to yourself and transfer the attachment to iBooks.
  • copy EPUB files into DropBox (or a similar service) and use the DropBox app to send them to iBooks.
  • open EPUB files directly from Mobile Safari and open them in iBooks, where they are saved automatically by downloading the EPUB from the website.

Need more help? Visit: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4059

Kobo

To download an EPUB file to your Kobo from a Windows computer:

  • download and save the EPUB directly onto your desktop.
  • connect your Kobo to your computer using the USB cable and tap “Connect” on your eReader.
  • select “Open folder to view files” to view the contents of your Kobo.
  • navigate to where you have stored your EPUB file in “Finder”, in documents or downloads, and drag and drop it into the Kobo window. You can now disconnect your Kobo to read the eBook.

To download an EPUB to your Kobo from a Mac:

  • download and save the EPUB directly onto your desktop.
  • connect your Kobo to your computer using the USB cable and tap “Connect” on your eReader.
  • open your “Finder” application.
  • select “Kobo eReader” from the listed devices to view the contents of your Kobo.
  • navigate to where you have stored your EPUB file in “Finder”, probably in documents or downloads, and drag and drop it into the Kobo window. You can now disconnect your Kobo to read the eBook.

Turn on your Kobo and your EPUB will be located in “eBooks”, while a PDF will be located in “Documents”.
Need more information? Visit: http://www.kobo.com/help/koboaura/response/?id=3784&type=3

Sony Reader

To download an EPUB file on your Sony Reader™:

  • ensure you have already installed the Reader™ Library for PC/Mac software
  • select the eBook you want from our website and click the link to download it.
  • connect the Reader™ to your computer.
  • open the Reader™ Library software and click “Library” in the left-hand pane and select the eBook to view it.

Need more help? Visit: https://au.readerstore.sony.com/apps_and_devices/

Amazon Kindle 2nd Generation devices

EPUB files can’t be read on the Amazon Kindle™. However, like most eReaders, Kindle™ 2nd Generation devices are able to display PDFs. We recommend that you download the PDF version of this booklet if you would like to read it on a Kindle™.
To transfer a PDF to your Kindle™ via USB cable from your computer or Mac:

  • download the PDF directly onto your computer.
  • connect the USB cable to your computer’s USB port, and the micro USB end of the cable to your Kindle™. Note: the Kindle™ won’t be available as a reading device while it is connected to your computer until it has been disconnected.
  • open the Kindle™ drive and several folders will appear inside. The “Documents” folder is where you will need to copy or drag the PDF to.
  • safely eject your Kindle™ from your computer and unplug the USB cable. Your content will appear on the Home Screen.

Kindle also provides a Kindle Personal Documents Service that allows users to send documents as an attachment directly to your eReader. For more information on this service, visit http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html/ref=help_search_1-1?ie=UTF8&nodeId=200767340&qid=1395967989&sr=1-1
For more information on accessing a PDF on your Kindle™, visit www.amazon.com/manageyourkindle, log in to your account and click on Personal Document Settings.
Need more help? Visit https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=200375630

Android and PC

You can also download and open eBooks on Android devices and PCs with appropriate apps or software installed. Suitable eReader apps for Android include Google Play Books, FBReader and Moon+ Reader. Suitable software for PCs include Calibre and Adobe Digital Editions.


This information was last reviewed in January 2019
View who reviewed this content
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