Experts warn summer weather on Vancouver Island brings health risks


WATCH: Vancouver Island enjoyed warm conditions and sunny skies Monday. But with the sudden taste of summer comes health risks. Isabelle Raghem has tips from experts. 

When the sun comes out, so do Islanders. The weekend’s warm and sunny conditions across Vancouver Island is stretching out into this week.

“The warm weather takes us off the couch takes us outside and it keeps us moving,” says Mena Westhaver, founder & creator of Sole Sisters.

Westhaver says while the bright skies encourage people to work out, she says it should also be a reminder of the increased risk of dehydration.

“You’re gonna need to drink more water during the run, so we’ll encourage carrying the water bottle and being prepared at all times.”

Dr. Tatyana Hamilton, a dermatologist in Victoria, says protecting your skin from the sun should be a part of your daily routine.

“Preventing premature aging but more importantly to prevent skin cancers, the vast majority of which are directly related to cumulative ultraviolet light exposure.”

“Look for two things [in sunscreen]: An SPF of at least 30, or higher, and broad spectrum, meaning UVA and UVB on the label,” says Hamilton.

The UV index Monday was seven for most of the island. That’s a rating considered “high” and a number that was the same even in places where temperatures were lower.

“Even on the rainiest day in Victoria, there is enough ultraviolet light coming through the clouds and through the glass to cause damage to the collagen in the skin to the elastic fibre and potentially also lead to skin cancers,” adds Hamilton.

She recommends a body scan at least once a month for signs of damage. What should you look for in moles or beauty marks?

“Look for any changes over time, getting bigger, changing colours, getting darker,” says Dr. Hamilton.

Experts insist these tips aren’t meant to scare people from going outside, just give them the tools to enjoy the sun while protecting their health.

Isabelle RaghemIsabelle Raghem

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