Between the beach, the pool, and the weekend cookouts, you may be having too much fun to worry about sunburn—until that telltale stinging and redness set in. Sunburn isn’t just painful, it’s also bad for your health. The sun’s rays contain two types of ultraviolet light. Ultraviolet A (UVA) causes tanning, aging skin, and wrinkles. Ultraviolet B (UVB) causes sunburn. And both can cause skin cancer. We all know the telltale signs of a sunburn. But did you know that a bad sunburn can also lead to heatstroke and dehydration?
Each time you are in the sun unprotected, whether you tan or burn, DNA damage builds up in the deeper levels of your skin. Having 5 or more burns over a lifetime doubles your chances of getting skin cancer! Other side effects of tanning and burning include premature wrinkles and age spots. Over time, the sun can age your skin, making it tough and leathery. Remember, your eyes can be affected too. Too much sun can burn your corneas and lead to various eye diseases, including cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. These can cause vision loss.
Follow these tips to prevent both short and long-term effects of sun damage.
• Wear protective clothing when possible
• Limit sun exposure between 10am and 4pm
• Keep children in the shade and in protective clothing
• Use only water-resistant or waterproof sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays, and has an SPF of at least 15. Reapply every two hours.
Remember, safety in the sun is very important! Your skin will thank you for it!