Long, hot summer days call for fun in the sun, right? While yes, we want you to enjoy your time in the beautiful weather, we also want you to protect your skin as increased exposure to UV rays from the sun can cause sunburn. And, repeated exposure can cause other skin damage like wrinkles and diseases like skin cancer.
Continue reading to learn how you can treat your skin in the event of a sunburn, as well as how to prevent this type of skin damage.
WHAT IS A SUNBURN?
First, you must remember that there are a couple of degrees of sunburns, including:
- First-Degree Sunburn: A sunburn is defined as inflammation of the skin due to prolonged exposure to the sun's UV rays. A first-degree sunburn typically affects the first layer of the skin and can be treated at home. Symptoms of a sunburn can include redness of the skin, warmth radiating from your skin and itchiness.
- Second Degree Sunburn: A second-degree sunburn typically affects deeper layers of the skin. This type of sunburn takes longer to heal, but it can cause blisters, redness and swelling.
Not only can you get a sunburn on your skin, but you can also get sunburn on your eyes and lips, as well as areas of your body that you have covered.
RESULTS OF A SUNBURN
While many people take sunburns light, we believe you shouldn't. Sunburns can cause more than red and peeling skin; it can cause permanent and life-threatening damage, including:
- Aging of the skin
- Dry skin
- Rough-feeling skin
- Dark spots
- Actinic keratoses (precancerous lesions)
- Skin cancer, including melanoma
- Vision issues
WHO IS AT RISK FOR SUNBURN?
While anyone can experience sunburn, certain skin types are more at risk for severe sunburn.
- Pale skin: This skin type most likely does not tan and burns often.
- Fair skin: This skin type may tan some, but still is at risk for burns.
- Darker white skin: This skin type still burns, but then tans.
- Lighter brown skin: This skin type tans easily, but is still at risk for burns.
- Brown skin: This skin type will tan and rarely experience a sunburn.
- Dark brown and black skin: This skin type tans and mostly never burns.
HOW CAN YOU PREVENT SUNBURN?
Preventing sunburn can save your life, and it's easy to do! In our blog, 4 Steps to Prevent Skin Cancer, we outlined four steps that can help you prevent skin cancer and help you prevent sunburn:
- Wear protective clothing. Cover up your arms and legs with protective clothing along with wearing a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses.
- Avoid UV radiation. The sun's peak hours, where it is the strongest, takes place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. It is recommended to seek out shaded areas and avoid direct sunlight. These actions minimize your chances of accumulating immediate UV ray exposure. Additionally, do not utilize tanning beds. A tanning bed is a carcinogen, a substance that promotes cancer. Any form of UV light exposure can also cause melanoma to form.
- Use the proper sunscreen for your skin type year-round. You know to use sunscreen during the hotter months of summer, but you also need to use it routinely as it gets colder outside as well - yes, even during winter. Use broad-spectrum sunscreen year-round with an SPF of 30 or higher that works on both UVA and UVB rays. There are many choices when it comes to sunscreens and sunblocks. Between chemical sunscreens and physical sunscreens, it is valuable for you to choose the best fit for you and your skin type. Make sure you read the sunscreen label correctly based on your personal preferences.
- Get regular skin examinations. Schedule and attend regular skin exams. Adults over the age of 40 receive an annual review with a dermatologist. Monthly skin checks with your dermatologist if you notice any chances are essential to stop a precancerous sign before it develops.
PROTECTING YOUR SKIN THIS SUMMER | THE DERMATOLOGY CENTER FOR SKIN HEALTH, PLLC
If you have oily or acne-prone skin, we recommend the following sunscreens:
If you tend to be on the dryer side, our Antioxidant Moisturizing Sunscreen not only protects from the sun but also provides moisture.
We also offer a variety of sunscreens for all skin types:
- Vitamin C Antioxidant Sunscreen
- Tinted Physical Sunscreen
- Sheer Physical Sunscreen
- Sunscreen SPF 30
- Green Tea Mattifying Mineral Powder Sunscreen
Have questions about our sunscreens? Don’t hesitate to reach out to us!