Many of us like to enjoy the sun but no-one enjoys sunburn! Use a sun cream with SPF15 or higher. Between 11am and 3pm, make sure you spend time in the shade, as this is when the sun's rays are the most intense and most people burn. People taking oral diabetes medication should be aware that these tablets can increase sensitivity to the sun and should take extra precautions to limit overexposure to the sun.
- Protect your feet from the sun
If you have diabetes, do not walk around barefoot as feet can burn or blister without you realizing it! Wear comfortable shoes that do not rub or pinch your feet as these can lead to blisters. When swimming, wear water shoes!
When out in the sun, check your feet through the day to make sure they stay burn and blister free.
- Protecting your eyes from the sun
We should all avoid looking directly into the sun, whether we have diabetes or not. Diabetes can also raise the risk of diabetic retinopathy and so those of us with diabetes should protect our eyes from the sun to avoid any additional damage to the retina.
When picking suitable sunglasses, the NHS advises picking sunglasses with a 'CE mark', marked as UV 400 or that provide 100% UV protection.
- Protecting medication from the sun
Exposing insulin and blood sugar machines (glucometers) to extreme cold or heat that can spoil insulin, and ruin glucometers. If you're using a device to keep your insulin cool, be sure it is a cold pack, and not a freezer pack--freezing insulin destroys its efficacy.