Sunburn: Know the Facts

Prepare yourself- the dreaded sunburn is around the corner!

With summertime quickly approaching, some of our favorite activities will be in full swing, like swimming, boating, and working in the yard. While we are caught up in our summer fun, we don’t think about the long-lasting effects it can have on our skin! It is important to understand that over-exposure to the sun can lead to nasty sunburns. There are many ways to treat a sunburn, but the best way is to never get it in the first place!  If you do get too much sun, these can be the results:

This poor fellow fell asleep in the sun:

There are other effects of a sun exposure as well, like premature aging of the skin and sunspots.  However, these are the least of your problems when it comes to your skin. Sunburns can lead to deadly skin cancer, and that is the most important reason to protect your skin.

You can protect your skin from sun exposure in two ways:

First, you can cover exposed areas with hats and clothing in order to prevent the sunburn. Rash guards and sun hats are great ways to do this! But what about that sweltering heat we have here in the South? That leads us to our second option:

Sunscreen!

Sunscreens can come in all shapes and sizes, but it is important to recognize that not all sunscreens are equal; you must pick a sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays.  In short, here is what they do:

The UVA rays cause premature aging.

The UVB rays cause sunburns.

We tend to brush off the idea of damaging our skin, wait for the sunburn to fade, and then get right back in the sun. But, protecting your skin may be the very thing that saves your life. UVA and UVB rays can ultimately lead to aggressive skin cancer.

How do you choose which sunscreen to use?

Aside from making sure your sunscreen protects from UVA and UVB rays, the American Academy of Dermatology recommends choosing products that have sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher,  broad-spectrum coverage, and water or sweat resistance. SPF 30 will protect against 97% of the sun’s UVB rays, so be sure to apply it all over! Reapply it frequently for extra protection.

This summer, be sure to find the correct sunscreen and USE IT! For your sunburns and all of your summer illnesses or injuries, let Southern Immediate Care take care of you! We are open extended hours every day for your urgent care needs.