As we move into the spring months, many of us may be surprised to find we are getting sunburnt. If this sounds like you, you’re definitely not alone.

However, it’s not difficult to spot the culprit if you understand how UV works. In spring, some days may still be cool, but the ultraviolet (UV) levels are starting to rise.  We might have a 27°C day followed by a 20°C day, but you know what? The UV level will probably be exactly the same.

It’s easy to understand why we naturally associate heat with burning.  After all, as children we are warned not to touch hot things, and we all know what a burn feels like. However, that logic of heat=burn doesn’t hold true when it comes to air temperature. The heat we feel in the air is called infrared radiation, and even though it might feel very hot to us, it can’t actually burn our skin.  It’s UV radiation that does the damage.

You can’t see or feel UV radiation so your senses can’t pick up what the UV level is.  Luckily though, we do have the UV Index which tells us exactly this. You can also check the UV forecast (on this very site in fact!) to find out what the UV level is expected to be in your part of town. The higher the level, the faster your skin can be damaged if you don’t use proper protection.

So remember, even if it’s cool outside, the UV can still be high enough to do you damage.  It’s not just on hot days that we need to cover up.

Don’t get caught out as the seasons change – it’s all about UV!