Summer has arrived. While this means long fun-filled days for many, too much of a good thing can be bad. Prolonged sun exposure causes sunburn.
Sunburn is a painful experience and results when the skin is exposed excessively to the sun's ultraviolet rays. Skin damage from a sunburn may be minimal and show up as only a 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 of skin cancer.
Sunburn and, hopefully, skin cancer can be avoided by:
- Limiting the amount of time of sun exposure.
- Avoiding the worst sun hours -- from late morning to early afternoon (10 o'clock to 2).
- Wearing hats and protective clothing.
- Being aware that sunburn can occur even on a cloudy day (clouds don't stop the ultraviolet rays).
- Knowing that sunburn can occur even when you are in the water.
- Remembering that sand reflects the sun rays and increases the chance of burning.
- USE APPROPRIATE SUNSCREENS!!
Sunscreen should be applied 20 to 30 minutes before going into the sun and reapplied often. Don't forget that lips get sunburned, too. So, apply a lip balm that contains sunscreen, also preferably with an SPF of 15 or higher.