What Exactly Is a Sunburn? A sunburn occurs when your skin absorbs the UV rays that the sun puts off as it shines. The strengths of the sun’s UV rays vary based on how close a person is to the equator and the time of day, but any time you are exposed to the sun, these rays are also present. Typically, they will only invade your outermost layer of skin (the epidermis), but in prolonged exposure, they will impact your skin’s more inward layers which is when a sunburn occurs. This can lead to unpleasant symptoms, but also increases your risk of developing skin cancer.
Symptoms of a Sunburn
- Redness within 24 hours
- Tenderness of the impacted skin
- Blistering or itchiness
Are Sunburns a Serious Concern?While a mild sunburn is not a serious concern from a health standpoint, sunburns can become severe and even develop into sun poisoning in some cases. This can lead to chills, nausea, low blood pressure and extreme weakness. The biggest problem is that burning increases your risk for skin cancer, which is incredibly common among Americans. So it’s very important to take steps to protect your skin.
How Do I Prevent a Sunburn?
- Wear clothing that is rated to block UV rays.
- Use sunscreen every time you go outdoors.
- Wear a lip balm that contains at least SPF 15.
- Try to avoid time outside during the heat of the day.
- Seek shade when possible while outdoors.