Using Umbrellas as Sun Protection

I recently went on a trip with my parents and majority of the trip involved walking around in national parks or sites with little shades available, I was wearing a cap and used sunscreen, whereas my parents opted to use umbrellas. I think it's not uncommon to use umbrellas as protection from the sun in Asia, but it seems that not a lot of people are doing that here.

It prompted me to think that being in a country where we are prone to sun damage and at high risk of skin cancer, why wouldn't people use umbrellas on extremely sunny days, surely physical barriers would be a lot more effective than sunscreens which might not be applied property and they lose their effectiveness over time/being in water etc. The only down side I can think of is if you are in an area with a lot of people, it can be a bit annoying to walk around trying not to block other's way.

I'm talking about protection from sun when you have to walk for a longer time, for health reasons, not when you have to walk down to the shops for 5 minutes or obsession of having pale skin.

What do you guys think?

Comments

  •  

    I find it annoying because I always think it's going to rain

  • +3 votes

    The shady truth about shade
    http://www.abc.net.au/health/thepulse/stories/2015/01/19/415...

    The idea that if you put merely a physical barrier (such as am Umbrella) between you and the Sun isn't the whole story.

    I don't think it is a simple case of either/or, especially if you start to compare sunscreen that either isn't of a sufficient rating, not applied correctly etc. Sunscreen may need to be reapplied (according to the instructions) especially if you have been in the pool or ocean.

  • +3 votes

    Wear a hat and sunscreen. Problem solved! Umbrellas are a pain to hold and worse for everyone else

  • +4 votes

    Personally I find umbrellas are a bit of a hassle to carry around, but they do seem to be able to be able to provide shade for most of your body. @holdenmg I think that's a good point, UV can still be reflected off water surface, I had a friend that got sunburnt after a boat ride and he was under cover for the entire tripm I guess sunscreen should be applied all the time. The reapplying is the most annoying part as you would be hot and sweaty by then, and having to rub more sticky cream on your skin is not that pleasant :(

  •  

    They are a pain to carry around. That's about it for me.

  • +1 vote

    Speaking of sunburn, I was flicking across the channels last night in the vain hope of finding something worth watching. There is a Dutch dating show where the contestants are on a tropical island nude, and they all looked like they had third degree burns.

    I only watched it for a few moments- I swear, Mum.

    •  

      What channel? What's it called? When's it on?

      • +1 vote

        Sounds like SBS.

        • +1 vote

          Adam Looking For Eve- SBS Viceland- 8.30pm last night.

    •  

      I've seen a few episodes of other "nude" reality TV shows; "Dating Naked" and "Naked and Afraid"…a few laughs here and there…

  •  

    It's part hassle, part culture, and part that not many umbrellas here are rated for UV. What keeps off the rain won't always keep out the sun! Personally, I'd rather go with more clothing (light, but covering) than an umbrella.

    When it rained out the boxing day cricket they showed some from 1990… I was amazed how the crowd was bare-shouldered and even shirtless, no hats, no umbrellas, in full summer sun! It looked so different from today when people are much more aware: sunscreen, sunglasses, hat, sleeves, shade.

  •  

    It's a cultural thing; Aussies in general enjoy the sun and don't mind a tan. You'll find that an umbrella will turn the area above your head into a mini-oven on a really hot and sunny day due to the lack of airflow.

    •  

      That's why so many of us die from melanomas.

  • +3 votes

    Remember that you can get burnt from the reflected light too. So I would keep the sunscreen on even if you use an umbrella.

  • +1 vote

    In Asia it's a big thing to have fair skin, that's why they'll do anything under the sun (no pun intended) to keep away from the sun!

  • +1 vote

    Physical barriers can be party effective and I guess than an umbrella would be about as good as a broad brimmed hat for keeping sun off the face and neck. However umbrellas are not promoted by our health authorities for that purpose. An umbrella needs to be held and kept oriented in the right direction. My guess is that many people would start out with good intentions, but after some time would get sick of carrying it or perhaps they would stow it to use their hands and forget to start using it again. Health authorities want to promote what is broadly effective, not just effective to a disciplined few.

    While sunscreen can was off in water, I can't see that an umbrella is an alternative for the people swimming or playing in the water. I have noticed that the rash vest is becoming more popular as a physical barrier - it greatly reduces the area of skin you have to apply sunscreen to.

    Outside of the water, good sunscreens are effective for a long time. I use sunscreen on long bike rides and even though I perspire profusely the sunscreen remains effective.

    You do have to apply sunscreen effectively. I have previously been sun-burnt in small spots that I have missed when applying it in a hurry. I have learned that it is more effective to apply the sunscreen in front of the bathroom mirror before I leave home.

  • -1 vote

    Wear a burqa with sunglasses? No need for an umbrella or sunscreen, and as an added bonus, most people will give you a wide berth.

  • +1 vote

    Umbrellas always make it a hurdle while walking. If you are specifically talking about long walks then I would suggest avoiding umbrella as it would create pain and nothing else.
    First of all, you would block other's way and secondly you would just keep on shifting the umbrella from one hand to the other as holding it for a longer time would make your arm ache. It is better to put some sunblock or wear a hat/cap and a sunscreen.

  • +3 votes

    I use an umbrella in summer when I know I'll be walking anywhere more than about 5 minutes, but I'm quite pale so I also wear sunscreen, sunglasses and wear as much long clothing as I can bear depending on temperature. My sun umbrella is specifically designed for the sun, so it's got a metallic grey coating on the outside, and is much cooler to stand under than a regular umbrella. (most of my rain ones are dark) Unfortunately, I bought it off ebay and didn't realise how big it was, so it's more like a golf umbrella, so I need to get a smaller one that can fit in my bag. I love having the umbrella though, the direct sun gives me headaches and can be really strong in TAS, so with the umrbella I don't get hot and sweaty so sunscreen lasts much longer before needing to be reapplied.

  •  

    Anyone know where I can buy a smallish sun umbrella??
    I've tried using a normal umbrella to keep sun off, but it doesn't keep the heat off.
    A new fashion accessory!!

  •  

    I love to use a sun umbrella when I know I'll be exposed to a lot of sun, but I do combine it with sunscreen to be sure. I purchased mine on a recent trip to Japan, where all the ladies seamed to use them. It's smaller than one for rain, lighter and has a SPF factor on it (thought I can't recall what).

    I don't agree that they make you hotter, but again, mine is designed for sun protection and isn't a rain umbrella.

    Not sure where you can buy them but try some online stores searching specifically for SUV protection umbrella or parasol.

    Full disclosure, mine is also a fashion accessory. My style is a little rockabilly/vintage and the cream umbrella with little cherries is perfect for my looks.

  •  

    You can use an umbrella to protect yourself from dog attack-Fashionable and functional.

    https://www.ozbargain.com.au/node/286403

  •  

    Cowering under an umbrella on a sunny day makes me feel claustrophobic. Unless it's one of those cafe or al fresco umbrellas.

    Umbrellas are a bit of a hassle to lug around.

    But I don't object to others doing it.

  •  

    A wide brim hat is a good option. Not a baseball cap. Leaves your hands free. But still need the sunscreen.

  •  

    I usually wear a hat, but when there's no cloak room and I have to take off my hat then I'll use an umbrella.

  •  

    Umbrellas would be good to protect oneself from the sun. I do think most people prefer to wear hats or sunscreen.