With many people out and about for Australia Day, Victorians should take some simple steps to protect themselves from sunburn.
SunSmart Manager Sue Heward said with ultraviolet (UV) radiation likely to reach extreme levels in some parts of the state, it is important to use sun protection.
"At this time of the year without sun protection it can take as little as 11 minutes for the signs of sunburn to appear," she said. "Whether you attend an official event or enjoy a backyard BBQ, make sure you slip, slop, slap, seek and slide."
And Ms Heward emphasised that even if there isn't sunshine or high temperatures, UV levels can still be extreme.
"It's a common myth that sun protection is only needed when it's hot or sunny. But it's not heat or sunshine that counts, it is UV.
"Overexposure to UV is the main cause of skin damage and skin cancer. Whether it's 20 degrees or 40 degrees, the UV Index can reach extreme levels and it can still be high enough to cause damage even if it's cloudy or overcast."
And it's not just sunburn that you need to worry about. "The truth is that a tan is a sign of your skin cells in trauma. In fact, you don't even have to burn to cause damage to your skin cells," Ms Heward said.
Preparation is the key to good sun protection: