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Sunburn: 5 Important Health Risks

Sunburn: 5 Important Health Risks

We’re sure you are familiar with the concept of sunburn – anyone who’s spent a summer on the beach will have experienced the painful red skin that comes with overexposure to the sun. Playing sports outdoors, walking in the open air, spending time in the garden and even walking around the city shopping all put you at risk of sunburn if the sun is out. But sunburn is not something to be taken lightly. Repeated sunburns can have serious health consequences. Here’s why sunburn is bad for your health.

  • Sunburn causes your skin to age. Premature skin aging, or photoaging, comes about when the skin cells are damaged by UV rays. The cells and structural tissues are weakened and become less elastic. You notice fine lines and wrinkles, sun spots, patches of hyperpigmentation, dry or rough skin, freckles, fine red veins, and sagging skin. The more exposure your skin has to the sun, the greater the impact of skin aging.
  • Sunburn raises the risk of skin cancer. You are more likely to suffer from skin cancer when you have suffered sunburn in your earlier years. Children that experience sunburn on a regular basis have a dramatically increased chance of developing skin cancer as adults. Watch out for skin cancers that develop on the areas of the skin that are most frequently exposed to the sun such as the face, neck, arms, and chest.
  • Sunburn also causes precancerous lesions on the skin – rough or scaly areas that may be white, pink, or brown. These areas may develop into cancer over time.
  • Sunburn can be an infection risk. When the skin is blistered, sore, or broken then bacteria can enter and cause an infection. If you experience swelling, redness, oozing or other signs of an infection then go to your doctor for help.
  • Sunburn damages your eyes. Too much sun concentrated on the retina, lens, or cornea results in clouding, vision problems, pain, and discomfort.

Prevention is the important factor when it comes to sunburn because once the damage has been done, it cannot be reversed. Start sun protection for all the family right from the beginning. Apply and reapply sunscreen, stay out of the sun when it is at its most intense, cover up with loose, long-sleeved clothing, and wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses.


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