Sunburn Center

Sunburn occurs after the skin is exposed to too much UV (ultraviolet rays) from the sun. Continuous exposure to sun rays may lead to chronic diseases, such as melanoma (skin cancer). You can only prevent sunburns by protecting your skin when you are outdoors. All exposed parts of the body, including your lips, scalp and earlobes are susceptible to burns. Even eyes can burn since they are very sensitive to UV rays. After a few days, the body begins to peel off the damaged skin. Your skin will then have an irregular color and pattern after peeling, although this is temporary.

Sunburn Center

Sunburn Center

Symptoms

Sunburn symptoms include:

  • Hot/warm skin
  • Pink or reddish skin
  • Swelling
  • Small blisters filled with fluids
  • Pain and itching
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches and fever

Causes

Exposure to excess ultraviolet light leads to sunburns. There are various types of UV rays. The ones you should shield yourself from are the Ultraviolet A (UVA) and Ultraviolet B (UVB) types. UVA radiation is associated with skin aging, while UVB radiation causes sunburns. Both radiations have been linked to skin cancer. Sunburns can also be caused by tanning beds and sunlamps.

Risk Factors

  • Having light skin and blue eyes
  • Working outdoors
  • Residing in places with high temperatures
  • Drinking alcohol in the open sun

Effects of sunburns

  • It leads to premature aging of the skin. Excessive sunburns accelerate aging process of the skin. This is known as photoaging. Effects of photoaging include:
    • Freckles in the face and shoulders
    • Dry skin
    • Reduction of skin’s strength and elasticity
    • Deep wrinkles
  • Areas damaged by sun appear as whitish, brown, tan or pink scaly patches. These are precancerous lesions that may evolve to skin cancer.
  • Skin cancer generally develops due to over exposure of the skin to sun, with or without sunburns.
  • Too much UV radiation affects the eyes. Snow blindness comes as a result of the sunburn to the cornea.

Preventive Measures

  • Avoid over exposure to the sun, especially between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  • Wear thick clothing that cover up all areas when you are outdoor
  • Frequently use sunscreen
  • Avoid tanning beds
  • Wear sunglasses