Encyclopedia

Sunburn

What is a sunburn?

Overexposure to the sun or to equivalent exposure to sunlight-intensity light causes a sunburn.

Almost all of us have “burned” in the sun or will “burn” in the future. Anyone who goes to the beach, goes fishing, or does some yard work can get sunburned.

At any time of the year a person can get sunburned, but during the summer months the sun’s rays are the strongest and therefore this is when it is most likely to happen.

Staying in the solarium for too long can also cause sunburn.

Severe sunburn causes severe discomfort, but in extremely rare cases is fatal.

According to recent studies, most elderly people have burned at least once in the past year.

And if during childhood or adolescence a person has one or more severe sunburns, in which blisters appear on the skin, the risk of developing melanoma at a later stage doubles.

What’s more, if you have 5 or more sunburns in your lifetime, the chance of melanoma doubles.

What are the symptoms of sunburn?

Redness and pain are characteristic of mild sunburn, in which there are no complications.

Skin is initially red about 2 to 6 hours after exposure and very sensitive to touch. Symptoms are most pronounced 12 to 24 hours after exposure.

In more severe cases of sunburn, blisters form, the body becomes dehydrated, the electrolyte balance is disturbed and infection is possible.

Overexposure and the resulting severe, untreated sunburn can lead to shock and even death.

Other characteristic symptoms are:

  • Chills and fever.
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Symptoms characteristic of flu.
  • Blisters – vesicles, which may be very fine and have only a crust without contents, or large ones filled with a clear fluid, and when removed, the underlying skin is red and irritated.< /strong>
  • The skin begins to change about a week after the burn as the old “burnt” skin peels off and is replaced by new.

Treatment of sunburn

To relieve pain and discomfort after sunburn, you can do the following:

  • Apply cool compresses to the sunburned skin.
  • Treat the affected skin with aloe vera creams or gels that have soothing action for irritated areas.
  • Take cold baths, but not ice baths. Do not put bath salts, essential oils or perfumes in the bath as this can further irritate the skin. Do not rub or shave the skin. Dry your skin gently using soft towels.
  • Stay out of the sun until the burn is gone.
  • Keep hydrated of the body by drinking enough fluids.

How to protect ourselves?

To ensure optimal protection against sunburn and enjoy the benefits in the sunlight without risks to your health, additional measures and attention are needed.

Exposure of the skin to the sun has many benefits, stimulating the synthesis of vitamin D, which is important for bone health and the immune system.

However, improper or excessive exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation can cause skin burns and DNA damage, which increases the risk of various types of skin problems, including skin cancer.

To protect yourself from sunburn and its associated risks, it is recommended to follow a few important guidelines:

  1. Avoid intense sunlight: The best strategy to prevent sunburn is to limit your exposure to the sun, especially during peak hours between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when ultraviolet radiation is the strongest. This approach will help reduce the possibility of burning and skin damage.
  2. Protect yourself with appropriate clothing and accessories: Wearing wide-brimmed hats, long-sleeved shirts, and long pants can provide additional physical protection to the skin against harmful UV rays. Also, using sunglasses with UV protection can help protect your eyes from damage.
  3. Use sunscreen: Applying sunscreen before sun exposure is key to protecting your skin. Choose a cream with a high protection factor (SPF), preferably over 30, and make sure the product provides protection against both UVA and UVB rays. Constant application of the cream is important, especially after sweating or contact with water.
  4. Apply cream evenly and generously: To ensure effective protection, apply sunscreen evenly and generously to the skin. Don’t forget sensitive areas like ears, neck, upper legs and sternum.
  5. Avoid tanning beds: UV radiation from tanning beds can also cause skin damage and an increased risk of skin cancer. If possible, avoid using tanning beds and prefer natural sunlight.

By following these tips, you will be able to enjoy the benefits of sunlight while at the same time protecting your skin from the harmful effects of burning and damage.

Remember that proper skin care on sunny days will not only improve your skin’s health, but also help you keep it looking youthful for a long time.

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