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How to Protect Yourself from Sunburn

The hot and sunny summer is here; people are going on happy vacations.

Sunburns should be concerned during the summer holiday. They most often occur after being in the sun for too long. Although most sunburns are not severe, a lifetime of sun exposure and frequent sunburns significantly increases the risk of developing skin cancer, wrinkles, and other cosmetic concerns.


What are sunburn symptoms?

Sunburn may not be immediately apparent because redness usually develops between three and five hours after being out in the sun. Common symptoms of sunburn are reddened skin, skin pain, more severe sunburns that can cause skin swelling and blistering.

What are the risk factors of sunburn?

The skin is protected from the sun by a substance in the skin called melanin. Melanin is a pigment that causes your skin to appear light or dark color. The amount of UVR required to burn your skin depends upon the amount of melanin in your skin. Usually, people with fair skin and light-colored hair have less melanin and are at a higher risk of sunburn than people with darker-colored skin.


People in regions closest to the equator and high altitudes are at a higher risk of developing sunburn.

Some medications could make the skin more sensitive to sunburn. This includes nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (e.g., ibuprofen), quinolone, and tetracycline antibiotics (e.g., Ciprofloxacin, tetracycline), and diuretics furosemide and hydrochlorothiazide. If you take one or more of these medications, you should avoid the sun and use protective measures to prevent sunburn.

What are sunburn complications?

Sunburn is associated with premature skin aging and skin cancer, including malignant melanoma, a severe form of skin cancer. Sun exposure and ultraviolet radiation damage can also increase the risk of developing cataracts.

How to treat sunburn?

It would be best if you stayed out of the sun until your skin redness and pain resolve. You can take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin or ibuprofen to relieve pain. These medications are beneficial if you take them as soon as you notice discomfort. There are several products to ease the pain for mild sunburns, including cool compresses, aloe-based lotions, and others.


How to prevent sunburn ? 

There are many effective ways to prevent sunburn, including staying out of the sun during peak hours, sunscreen, and protective clothing. While these measures are essential for everyone, they are crucial for children and people with fair skin.

Sunscreen —There are a wide variety of sunscreens available to protect your skin from sunburn, including gels, lotions, and sprays. The sun protection factor (SPF) is primarily an indicator of how much protection the sunscreen offers against ultraviolet B (UVB) rays. It would be best to look for a sunscreen labeled as broad-spectrum, meaning it protects against both ultraviolet A (UVA) and UVB rays. You should apply sunscreen generously to all exposed skin 15 to 30 minutes before exposure. It is recommended to reapply sunscreen every two to three hours.


Protective clothing — In addition to sunscreen, consider covering exposed skin with a wide-brimmed hat, a long-sleeved shirt, and long pants. Clothing made from tightly woven dark fabrics tends to provide more excellent protection than light-colored fabrics. Sunglasses that provide 100 percent UV ray protection can reduce your risk of cataracts.

Tips for children — Children are at higher risk than adults for becoming sunburned. Sunscreen safety has not been tested in infants younger than six months, and sunscreens are not usually recommended for this age group. Instead, parents are encouraged to use hats, sunglasses, and shade to protect children from the sun.