Why and How we get Sunburns

Sunburn is one problem that is very difficult to avoid especially if you are an outdoor person. Why? Because sunburn is the result when a person has been exposed too much to the sun or even sun-equivalent machines. For that reason, almost all of us have experienced the pain brought by sunburn.

If you are planning to go to the beach, go fishing, or even do some simple gardening, then expect that unless you take certain precautions you will have sunburn. In addition to that, it has been found out that the improper use of tanning beds can cause sunburn. From that, it can be deduced that almost all activities can eventually lead to sunburn. Though sunburn is seldom fatal, it can cause a lot of irritation, itching, discomfort and even severe pain that result in feelings of distress.

Literally, sunburn is a burn on the skin caused by the sun where the patient will experience an inflammation of the skin, and it is painful. Sunburn is caused by the ultraviolet (UV) radiation coming from the sun. Thirty minutes of exposure is enough for you to develop sunburn. Maybe you have heard or encountered the term UVA and UVB. Well, both of them can cause wrinkles, premature aging and sunburn. Tanning beds also produce both UVA and UVB rays. However, the two differ in their wavelengths and UVB is more damaging where it can even cause skin cancer.

Aside from that, the geographical location is also a factor in having sunburn. Traveling to places that are near the equator means that you are more prone to having a sunburn as compare to traveling to places on the northern and southern hemisphere. This is due to the fact that there is maximum exposure of sunlight on the places near the equator.

In addition to that, another factor that may affect sunburn is the skin color of the individual. Light skinned people as well as people with fair colored hair are more prone to sunburn. Thus, people living in Africa or those with darker complexion have less risk of experiencing sunburn.

Having knowledge of the causes and factors that may lead to sunburn, you should also know what the common symptoms of sunburn are and when to seek medical attention. The most common symptom of sunburn is the redness of the skin that has been burned, along with accompanying pain on the area. The color of the skin changes into red between 2 to 6 hours after the sun exposure. Pain and its effects are experienced within the first 12 to 24 hour period. Other symptoms may include chills, vomiting, and blistering. For serious sunburn, symptoms such as skin loss, dehydration, infection and electrolyte imbalance are to be expected.

Thus, if you are experiencing excessive pain, blistering, headache, and vomiting, then it is advisable for you to go to the hospital for proper treatment and medication. Your doctor can help you. Although some cases of sunburn are mild and can be treated at home, others require the assistance of health care professionals.

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