Sunburns are caused by exposure to too much ultraviolet (UV) light. UV radiation is a wavelength of sunlight in a range too short for the human eye to see. Ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) are the two types of solar radiation most responsible for sunburn. Sunlamps and tanning beds also produce UV light and can cause sunburn.
Melanin is the dark pigment in the outer layer of skin (epidermis) that gives your skin its normal color. When you’re exposed to UV light, your body protects itself by accelerating the production of melanin. The extra melanin creates the darker color of a tan.
A suntan is your body’s way of blocking the UV rays to prevent sunburn and other skin damage. But the protection only goes so far. The amount of melanin you produce is determined genetically. Sunburn in a light-skinned person may occur in less than 30 minutes of midday sun exposure while Indian skin may tolerate it for hours before getting a sunburn but it all depends on the exposure rate and also varies from person to person.
MUST KNOW FACTS ABOUT SUNBURN
Immediate symptoms of sunburn are:
Most symptoms of sunburn are usually temporary. But the damage to skin cells is often permanent, which can have serious long-term effects, including skin cancer. By the time the skin starts to become painful and red, the damage has been done. Pain is worst between 6 to 48 hours after sun exposure. In the case of prolonged sun exposure, symptoms of heat exhaustion like vomiting, dizziness, fatigue, etc. might develop which warrant immediate consultation from a doctor.
Signs of severe sunburn can include:
ESSENTIAL DO’s & DON’Ts
Click to Read: DO’s & DON’Ts of SUN PROTECTION
IF YOU want to resolve and get rid of your skin concern (Sunburn); then instead of a Basic Skincare Regime; you would require a CUSTOMIZED SKINCARE REGIME (containing specific skincare products that can target to resolve your concerns) along with correct skincare guidance.
COMMON QUERIES- RESOLVED
Q1: You only need sun protection on hot, sunny days and not windy or cloudy days?
ANS: You need to use sun protection methods every day. It doesn’t matter if it’s sunny, cloudy, or raining—UV rays are always there during daylight. Don’t forget that sunscreen is needed even on cloudy days, because approximately 50 – 80% of UV rays penetrate through the clouds.
Q2: You need sun exposure for vitamin D?
ANS: It’s unsafe to seek extra sun to top-up vitamin D levels. Most people get enough UV exposure to maintain vitamin D levels through their usual outdoor activities. Talk to your doctor if you’re concerned about your vitamin D level.
Q3. I have heard that tanning is a healthy sign?
ANS: There is no such thing as a “healthy tan.” It is erroneously thought that a tan is healthy and protects you from sunburn. In actuality, a tan results from the body defending itself against further damage from UV radiation. A tan may look beautiful, but that does not mean the skin is healthier than non-tanned skin.
Q4. As long as my skin is not feeling hot, I cannot get a sunburn?
ANS: It is an incorrect notion to think that if the skin feels cool it will not sunburn as quickly. It’s the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation – not heat – that causes sunburn, premature ageing, eye damage and skin damage, which can ultimately lead to skin cancer. UV cannot be seen or felt. It is not like the sun’s light which we see, or the sun’s warmth (infrared radiation) which we feel. Because we can’t sense UV radiation, we won’t know it’s damaged our skin until it’s already too late.
Q5. Water blocks the UV rays?
ANS: Water reflects about 30% rays back and around 70% penetrate through water. That means as long as you can see light underwater your skin is getting hit by those rays.
Also, bear in mind that water is a reflective surface and the rays that do get reflected back off the surface of water hit the parts of you that aren’t underwater. This increases the tanning or sunburn of the exposed area. So wear sunscreen religiously even while taking a dip in your swimming pool.
Q6. Skin cancer is caused by sunburn?
ANS: You don’t need to get sun burnt to develop skin cancer. Skin cancer occurs when skin cells are damaged, from over exposure to UV rays from the sun. We’re exposed to UV rays every time we go outdoors, and even short sun exposure adds up over time to skin damage. Sunburn increases your risk even more because the damage to the skin cells can be more severe.
Q7. One sunburn won’t do any harm?
ANS: If you think a single sunburn cannot affect your chances of developing skin cancer, think again. It is actually found that only one blistering sunburn, especially during your childhood, can more than double your chances of developing melanoma later in life. Reduce your risk by minimizing exposure during the sun’s strongest and most powerful hours: from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Always apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen.
NATURAL EFFECTIVE HOME REMEDIES
These should only be applied or used after the initial redness and burning has subsided a bit. Do not apply anything other than cold water or cold milk on the sun burnt area for first 24 hours.