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Sun Protection and Hydration in the Tropics of Belize

Tropical vacations appeal to many travelers because of the outstanding climate and beautiful scenery that tropical countries have to offer. While warm weather and plenty of sunshine provide excellent conditions for outdoor adventures and enjoying gorgeous beaches, the same combination can also lead to sunburn and dehydration when travelers are not careful. Fortunately however, simply by preparing yourself for such conditions and taking certain precautionary measures, you can protect yourself from the sun and heat so you will be able to enjoy every moment of your tropical getaway.

Whether you will be lying on the beach, going on hikes or kayaking through clear blue waters, you will need to take steps to prevent the dehydration of your skin and your body as a whole. Dehydration and dry skin can be caused not only by warm weather but also by salt in high salinity environments such as the Caribbean Sea. To prevent dry skin, simply use a moisturizing lotion on a daily basis. Also, if you will be taking part in activities such as sea kayaking, it's a good idea to wear gloves to protect your hands, as drier skin will be more susceptible to developing blisters. As for the dehydration of your body, the best preventative measure is to drink plenty of fluids throughout the day. While people with fair skin and hair are generally more likely to burn when exposed to sunlight, everybody should protect themselves from UV radiation to help prevent premature wrinkling of the skin as well as more dangerous conditions such as eye and skin cancer. While the best way to reduce exposure to UV radiation and to prevent sunburn is to avoid being out in the sun between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., that is not always possible or realistic. In such cases, the best protection will be achieved through wearing a wide-brimmed hat, good quality sunglasses, long-sleeve shirts and sunscreen. To ensure that you receive adequate protection, sunscreen with an SPF value of at least 30 is recommended. People with really fair skin may want to go with a much higher SPF value more like 40-60 range. Also, a higher SPF is usefull on the nose and lips, when spending much time on the water. There are many zinc-based creams that offer a much higher SPF protection for these areas. We have found that baby diaper rash creams are an inexpensive alternative. Sounds funny, but works great.

Also, if you will be spending time in the water or participating in sports or other forms of physical activity, waterproof sunscreen is best. By using a waterproof variety, you won't have to worry about your sunscreen getting washed away by sweat or water and leaving you unprotected against the sun's radiation. You will, however, require re-applying your sunscreen at lease 3-4 times a day, when being active and jumping in and out of the water. Even the waterproof variety needs to be re-applied.

The above steps and precautions are really very simple to follow and yet can make a world of difference to your health and to your comfort level during your tropical vacation. It is expecially important to apply and re-apply during the first 3 to 4 days of your holiday. There is nothing worse that getting a severe sunburn at the beginning of your holiday. Also, there are areas that require particular attention when snorkeling, including the backs of your legs, the backs of your arms, and of course your back and neck region. Please make sure that you have someone help you applying sunscreen in these areas before snorkeling.

So before you set off on your next trip to the equatorial regions, be sure to prepare yourself for the climate and conditions as doing so will keep you happy and having fun throughout your active Belize vacation.