Published: 05/10/2006 - Updated: 08/13/2019
Author: Dra. Loredana Lunadei
A certain degree of exposure to sunlight is essential to stay healthy, but the cumulative effects can cause skin disorders. Avoiding sunburn now can be beneficial to your health later.
Remember that some drugs change the chemical composition of the skin and increase its sensitivity to the sun. People taking certain diuretics, tranquilizers or antibiotics may develop rashes or other allergic reactions.
Using a sunscreen product is the best way to prevent sun-exposed skin to burn.
If you suffer burns, skin is dehydrated, has heat, immediately consult your doctor or pharmacist.
Consequences of excessive sun exposure
Every year we can be exposed to more than 3000 hours of sunlight. Being in the sun gives us a feeling of warmth and health, but excessive exposure can cause discomfort and skin problems.
- Sunlight consists of invisible ultraviolet rays that cause tanning and burning the skin.
- Some of these ultraviolet rays induce a chemical in the skin called melanin to rise to the surface.
- Melanin is a pigment that darkens depending the closer it is to the skin surface, the more one is tan. The more you tan, the more natural defense against sunburn in the skin. Other ultraviolet rays can cause redness and burning of the skin.
- Sunburn is the skin lesion caused by excessive exposure to sunlight. It is very common, but it is important to recognize and treat as appropriate.
Truth and lies about sunburn
FALSE: THE SYMPTOMS OF SOLAR BURN ARE FELT THE MOMENT OF THE BURN
These symptoms, such as skin redness, blisters, swelling of face, loss of fluids and a general feeling of weakness and fatigue, are usually a few hours after being exposed to the sun. Therefore while the sun is taken, the person is not aware that there may be a sunburn.
TRUE: SOME AREAS OF THE SKIN AS NOSE, EARS, SHOULDERS AND THE INSTEP OF THE FEET, ARE MORE SUSCEPTIBLE BURNS
These areas of the human body have thin and delicate skin, as well as having potentially fewer protective pigment (melanin).
TRUE: YOU CAN BURN EVEN WHEN SUN DOES NOT SHINE
The ultraviolet rays can pass through the cloud layer, and although its action is weakened, people tend not to use protection and stay more time outdoors.
FALSE: THERE ARE THREE TYPES OF BURNS FROM THE SUN: FIRST DEGREE, SECOND AND THIRD DEGRADEE
There are only two types, which differ depending on the intensity of the symptoms: FIRST GRADE – reddening of the skin. SECOND GRADE – with swelling and blisters on the skin.
The third degree burn requires a much more aggressive source than the sun, like a fire, chemical, etc.
TRUE: THE BABY AND THE ELDERLY NEED FURTHER TAKE CARE AND PROTECTION SPECIAL TO THE SUN EXPOSURE
These people don’t have the pigment system of defense against the sun, or ir not fully developed as in the case of infants, or in degenerative process of the formation of melanin in the elderly.
In this way it is advisable to use a sunscreen and control exposure times.
TRUE: OVER-EXPOSURE TO SUNLIGHT HAS BEEN LINKED DIRECTLY WITH THE APPEARANCE OF PREMATURE WRINKLES AND SKIN CANCER
The action of the sun at first sight and in controlled exposure is beneficial, produces a cumulative effect on the levels of ultraviolet rays that can alter the structure of skin cells, predisposing to a high degree the formation of wrinkles and in certain individuals to skin cancer.
TRUE: AS A MEASURE TO PREVENT SUNBURN, CREAMS AND LOTIONS WITH SOLAR FILTERS SHOULD BE USED
Sunscreen products are sold in a variety of presentations, and as a protective factor that will have to allow more time exposing the skin to the sun without risk of burning for people of light skin, and the first sunbathing, it is advisable to use a high protection factor (8-15)
FALSE: IF THE BURN HAS ALREADY OCCURRED, ONLY WITH THE IMPLEMENTATION OF WATER TOWELS WITH VINEGAR OR OLIVE OIL, HEALING OF THE SAME IS PRODUCED
These remedies only temporarily relieve the burning sensation and redness of the skin. The actual treatment of sunburn should be to isolate the burned skin with a moisturizing and protective substance and reduce the itching or stinging substances suitable for this. This will speed up the healing process that our body has to regenerate damaged skin.
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