Sunburns and All
We have all watched cartoons and laughed at the hilarious sunburns depicted. Although funny in those situations, here is the truth about sunburns. Sunburns are far more dangerous than just a cosmetic effect. As the word states sunburn is quite literally a burn on the skin. However, this kind of injury causes skin damage even before redness appears. Therefore,sunbathers might not be aware of the dangers they put themselves in.
Ultraviolet rays from the sun are responsible for sunburns.
However, UV rays are categorized into two: A and B. UVA are long wave rays and are most common. UVB are short wave rays, but despite being less common, they are typically cancer causing. Both types of rays still have aging and skin cancer-causing effects.
Side Effects of Sunburns
At one point in our lives, we have had a sunburn. Depending on the severity, early childhood blistering from sunburn increases your chance of melanoma later in life. For instance, a person who has suffered more than five sunburn blisters in their lives could possibly have doubled their chances of getting
melanoma. This increases the risk of developing skin cancer. However, cumulative sun exposure can also have similar effects. Brief, intense exposures are just as dangerous as one long-term exposure.
Everyone wants to stay and look young as long as possible. Why not take baby steps towards achieving this? UVA is a huge cause of premature aging by destroying elastin tissue and collagen, resulting in wrinkles and fine lines. Prolonged exposure to the sun may cause further damages such as sagging, uneven pigmentation, and age spots.
For those who already have a pre-existing skin condition, a sunbath might not be what you need as sunburns can aggravate these conditions. The most affected conditions include psoriasis, rosacea, and eczema. Sunburns may also cause other side effects such as second degree burns, dehydration, secondary infection from blisters, and even macular degeneration.
Preventative Measures and Sunburn Care
It’s obvious we cannot avoid the sun. However, we can try to prevent too much exposure. UV rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Therefore, minimize exposure between these hours. When outdoors wear hats, sunglasses, and protective clothing. If you cannot avoid walking or sunbathing at this time, consider the use of sunscreen. Sunscreen has an SPF (sun protection factor) number that determines how long you can stay exposed to sunrays. Specialists recommend 15 or higher, as it protects against UVA and UVB, especially during summer vacations and spring breaks. To ensure effectiveness, apply sunscreen 30 minutes before going outside even on cloudy days. Reapply every two hours after strenuous activity such as swimming. Tanning booths have both UVA and UVB rays and therefore do not make them a safer alternative to outdoor tanning.
In the event of burned skin, make your life easier by drinking more fluids, take aspirin for inflammation, and use thick cream to moisturize. In severe cases, consult a physician to avoid secondary infections and effects. Otherwise, stay calm and remember, the sun is just a ball of fire.