Sunburn: An Important Skin Issue

Sunlight is essential in the improvement of one’s health. An adequate amount of sunlight is one of the primary sources of vitamin D which, in turn, helps protect against bone loss. However, overexposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays may cause certain skin ailments like sunburn. Sunburn is an inflammation of skin tissue due to overexposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Chronic sun overexposure and burning may cause the skin to become rough and wrinkled. In the long run, overexposure also increases the risk of skin cancer. However, there are many skin care products that might be used to treat this skin condition. But before deciding to use these products, the causes, symptoms, and treatments of sunburn should be well understood.

Sunburn develops when a person receives excessive sunlight or other sources of ultraviolet rays. It occurs because the body is not able to make enough protective pigments that are designed to protect the skin. Less than 15 minutes of sun exposure may lead to sunburn for light sensitive persons. Long-term excessive exposure to the ultraviolet rays of the sun may destroy the epidermis, or the outer layer of the skin and damage the tiny blood vessels underneath. When the skin is burned, protein production in the skin may be hampered because of the blood vessels are dilate and leak fluids. This condition may lead to Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) damage. DNA contains are essential in the functioning of all known living organisms. Chronic damage in the DNA may lead to cancer. Sunburn may cause the skin to turn red and blister. Signs and symptoms of sunburn may appear a few minutes or hours after exposure. Severe cases of sunburn may be accompanied with vomiting, fever, and collapse.

Treatment for sunburn may include the following:

Aspirin, acetaminophen and ibuprofen can help combat pain

Anesthetic creams or sprays containing benzocain and lidocain provide temporary relief

Antibacterial and antimicrobial soaps and antiseptics help prevent infection

Aloe-based skin care products soothe and cool overheated skin

Moisturizers can help keep your skin from drying out and tightening up

Sunburn and other skin ailments can be prevented with the use of water-resistant sunscreen which contains sun protective factor (SPF) and other skin care products. An ounce of sunscreen should be applied 15-30 minutes before getting exposed to the sun. Skin experts advice individuals to reapply this product every two hours.

Other things that should be remembered to prevent sunburn may include the following:

Limit sun exposure to 15 minutes the first day, even if the weather is hazy, slowly increasing exposure daily;

Re-apply sunscreen every two hours (more often if sweating or swimming);

Re-apply waterproof sunscreen after swimming more than 80 minutes, after toweling off, or after perspiring heavily;

Avoid the sun between 10 A.M. and 3 P.M.;

Use waterproof sunscreen on legs and feet, since the sun can burn even through water; and

Wear an opaque shirt in water, because reflected rays are intensified.

Skin care these days has become an essential part of a health regimen because of the health threats to the skin like sunburn. Taking care of the skin is essential in preventing the development of skin ailments like psoriasis, skin cancer, and other skin conditions. Understanding proper use of skin care products and maintaining appropriate sun exposure is essential in maintaining healthy skin.

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