Sunburn facts and safety

By August 23, 2017Blog
man with sunburn

We all know the pain and dangers that come with sunburn, but did you know that the ultraviolet rays emitted from the sun can start burning your skin in just 15 minutes?

And if you stay out longer than that and end up with a painful sunburn, doing so just every two years triples your risk for melanoma, a form of skin cancer.

UVA rays from the sun not only cause melanoma, they also cause your skin to age faster. Most of the damage humans get from the sun comes from UVA rays. You don’t want premature wrinkles, do you?

Lucky for you, there are plenty of things you can do to protect yourself from the sun’s harmful rays.

How do you protect your skin from damaging sun rays?  

Here are some things you can do to protect yourself:

  • Seek shade – Even on sunny days, finding a big umbrella or a large tree for shade can give you much-needed relief from the sun. But even if you’re in the shade, wear sunscreen.
  • Pay attention to your clothing – If you can, wear long-sleeved shirts, pants and long skirts to shield your skin. Ironically, darker colors tend to protect you more than lighter colors. If you can’t wear long sleeves or pants at the beach, you should at least try a T-shirt, along with sunscreen and other tools.
  • Bring a hat! A hat is one of the best ways to protect your face, ears, and the back of your neck. But to protect all those places, you’ll need a hat with a big brim. Again, a dark hat is likely better than a light hat.
  • Sunglasses – Not only is the sun harmful to your skin, it’s also hard on your eyes. Sunglasses can shield your eyes from those dangerous UV rays, thus decreasig your risk for cataracts.
  • Sunscreen – Not all sunscreens are created equal. It’s very important to know that. Always apply a minimum of SPF 15 sunscreen BEFORE you go outside, even if it’s partly cloudy or cool outside. Make sure to ask your friends to help apply to your back and other places that are hard to reach.

How does sunscreen work?

Sunscreen helps to protect your skin by absorbing, reflecting or scattering the sunlight as it hits your skin. The chemicals in sunscreen are what helps to bounce those UV rays off of you.

The SPF in sunscreen is the sun protection factor. The higher the number, the better the protection. If it doesn’t have a minimum of SPF 15, don’t bother putting it on.

Now you know what you need to do to protect yourself, but if you didn’t read this blog before you went out in the sun, you might need to see a doctor if your sunburn is too severe.

Call or stop by Urgent Care today for help.