Everyone enjoys spending time in the sun when summer comes around, but no one enjoys a sunburn. Even though sunburns may seem harmless when they happen, repeatedly sustaining sunburns can lead into more serious threats such as skin cancer. It is not anything to just shrug off your shoulders, so we want to share with our community how to protect and prevent sunburns this summer.
What is Sunburn?
To understand what a sunburn is, you have to know about UV radiation. UV radiation is the energy given off by the sun. There are three types of UV radiation that the sun gives off, UVA, UVB, and UVC. UVC radiation has the most energy of the three, however because of this, it interacts with the ozone and doesn’t reach the ground. UVA rays have the least energy and are linked to long-term skin damage. UVB rays have more energy than UVA rays, and they are responsible for sunburns and are thought to cause most skin cancers.
A sunburn occurs when your skin is exposed to UV rays for too long. Without protection from the sun, the skin is damaged by UVB rays causing the skin to turn red and get irritated. The more exposure to sunlight a person gets, the worse their sunburn can be.
Types of Sunburns
Sunburns can range from mild to severe:
- A mild sunburn is a minor burn with some redness and pain, and peeling in the later days, which does not require medical attention.
- A moderate sunburn is more painful and includes red, swollen skin that is to the touch. These types of sunburns should heal within a week or two.
- A severe sunburn may require a visit to the doctor. This type of sunburn involves blistering or swelling of the skin, chills, a fever, and dizziness and headaches. They can take up to two weeks to fully heal.
There is no estimate for how long it will take for a person to get a sunburn, it could take anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 hours. It all depends on the person’s ability to absorb the sun and their melanin count. That is why it is important to protect yourself every time you are out in the sun.
How do I Avoid a Sunburn?
Sunburns are not healthy or pleasant, but the good news is that they can be prevented. Preventing a sunburn is all about protecting your skin. Use the below methods to help prevent sunburns:
- Apply lots of sunscreen (SPF 30+) and reapply every 2 hours
- Avoid going out during peak sun times
- Wear sun protective clothing
- Take breaks in the shade
Red River ER is here to help if you or a loved one begins to experience signs of severe sunburn. We encourage everyone to stay protected from too much exposure to sunlight this summer. Our physicians are available 24/7 to provide concierge-level care to adults and children alike.
Disclaimer: As a service to our readers, Red River ER and Nutex Health state no content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinicians.
Nutex Health, Inc supports you and your family’s health. You can depend on Red River ER, or any one of our concierge-level, medical facilities to deliver the emergency care you deserve, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.