Summer officially starts in the Northern Hemisphere on June. While this means long fun filled days for many, too much of a good thing can be bad. Prolonged sun exposure leads to sunburn. Sunburn is a hurtful experience and results when the skin is exposed excessively to the ultraviolet rays from the sun. The skin damage of a sunburn may be minimal and show up as only mild redness that rapidly resolves or be so severe as to cause blisters with fluid accumulation and peeling of large areas of skin. In short, anywhere from a first to a third degree burn can occur!
Recurrent prolonged sun exposure is a known cause of premature aging of the skin and skin cancer.
Sunburn and hopefully skin cancer can be avoided by:
- Limiting amount of time of exposure and avoiding the worst hours of late morning to early mid-day.
- Wearing hats and protective clothing.
- Being aware that sunburn can occur even on a cloudy day (clouds don't stop the ultraviolet rays) and even when you are in the water.
- Remembering that sand reflects the sun rays and increases the chance of burning.
- USE APPROPRIATE SUNSCREENS!! Sunscreens with a Skin Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 15 are recommended for most people. This should be applied several minutes before going into the sun and reapplied often.
For more information, please visit the following MedicineNet.com areas: