The Team at Greater Houston Orthodontics knows that regardless of the many health warnings about skin damage from the sun, many still subject themselves to the burning rays of the sun for extended periods of time. More than one-third of adults and 70% of children have admitted to getting sunburn at least once or twice in the past 12 months according to the CDC.
What Causes Sunburn
You already know the simple explanation behind sunburn. When your skin is exposed to the sun for a period of time, eventually it burns, turning red and irritated.
Under the skin, things get a little more complicated. The sun gives off three wavelengths of ultraviolet light:
UVC light doesn’t reach the Earth’s surface. The other two types of ultraviolet light not only reach your beach towel, but they penetrate your skin. Skin damage is caused by both UVA and UVB rays. Sunburn is the most obvious sign that you’ve been sitting outside for too long. But sun damage isn’t always visible. Under the surface, ultraviolet light can alter your DNA, prematurely aging your skin. Over time, DNA damage can contribute to skin cancers, including deadly melanoma.
How soon a sunburn begins depends on:
• Your skin type
• The sun’s intensity
• How long you’re exposed to the sun
A blonde-haired, blue-eyed woman sunbathing in Rio de Janeiro will redden far sooner than an olive-complexioned woman sitting out on a sunny day in New York City.
• Use cold compresses or take a cool bath
• Stay hydrated
• Take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicine such as ibuprofen or naproxen
• Avoid the sun until you have healed completely
• Use a gentle cream with aloe or menthol and chill it in the refrigerator
Preventing A Sunburn
• Wear a high SPF sunscreen. A minimum of SPF 30 is recommended.
• Be aware of the time you are spending in the direct sun. Watch the clock
• Wear a hat with a brim
• Wear clothing that has an SPF factor
• Wear sunglasses that block UV rays
For more information on preventing and treating sunburn go to WebMD.
Our Team at Greater Houston Orthodontics in our Memorial Office and West University Office wants you to have fun this summer…but do it without pain and without damaging your skin. Enjoy the summer but be smart in the sun. Say NO to sunburn.