SmartSun UV-wristband – will it save you from sunburns?I am sure you know that it is good and healthy to be in the sun but it is bad and maybe even can be dangerous to get a sunburn. The advice to get out of the sun before you get a sunburn is a good one to follow. However, the problem is that normally you don’t know that you have had enough sun-exposure until it is too late and you already have got a sunburn that will be painfully noticeable the day after. The SmartSun UV-wristband solves this problem by displaying a warning that you have had enough sun BEFORE you get a sunburn. I also believe this could be the perfect solution to measure when you have reached the peak of optimal vitamin D generation. The SmartSun UV-wristband is a brand new invention by Claes Lindahl, a Swedish inventor and researchers at the University of Strathclyde in Scotland has developed the wristband. Briefly described, Smartsun is a dosimeter measuring the accumulated exposure to UVA and UVB during a day. Color-changes in a chemical formula on the surface of the wristband gives the indication when you will need to protect yourself from the sun. If you decide to use sunscreen, you should apply the sunscreen also to the surface if the wristband. In principle you can say that the SmartSun wristband mimics the reaction of ultraviolet light in your skin. On the webpage of SmartSun, it is mentioned that the wristband is especially designed for people with skin-type 1 and 2. I believe it is a mistake (actually made possible by a slightly localized definition of the Fitzpatrick skin-type scale by the Swedish Radiation Authority) to group people of those skin-types together. They have totally different characteristics since by definition (at least by the original) people with skin-type 1 will never develop a tan (they do not have the “right” kind of melanin for that). People with skin-type 2, on the other hand (and I know since I am a skin-type 2 myself), can develop a nice tan if gradually exposed to UVB. Anyhow, people with the original Fitzpatrick skin-type 1, are extremely rare and should never be in the sun for more than a couple of minutes. So let’s say that the SmartSun wristband is useful mainly for people of skin-type 2. At least in theory, the SmartSun wristband sounds like the perfect tool for vitamin D tanning.
The question is, will the SmartSun UV-wristband work also in a sunbed?Having studied the description, my answer is both yes, and no. Since it measures both UVA and UVB, it will still be important to know how much UVB there is in the sunbed you use in order to get your vitamin D. The other problem might be that the color-change is probably not visible through tanning-goggles. In general, I believe it would have been much better to make the SmartSun wristband indicative mainly of UVB and less, if at all, of UVA. That would give a more accurate burn-indication as well as a signal of enough vitamin D. Here is the description of how SmartSun works:
The Smartsun wristband is:
- For 1-day use. At the end of each day, remove the sensor and throw it away, even if the color has not changed. Always use a new sensor each day.
- Can be used in water – even chlorinated water and salt water.
- Detects both UVA and UVB.
- Can be used in combination with sunscreen by applying sunscreen to your body and to the wristband. The wristband is functional with any type of sunscreen.
- You can use the wristband all day, even if you go inside for awhile.
SmartSun UV-wristband colour guide (I would say that for vitamin D tanning, you should skip step 2)
You will be able to buy the SmartSun UV-wristband directly from www.smartsun.se