Monday, April 7, 2014

Why do we get sunburn?

Some people tan while some people never tan, but get burnt when they are out in the sun. It depends upon the amount of melanin in the skin. The more the melanin, the darker the skin. Those who don't have the defense of melanin, suffer burning of skin when exposed to sun. Melanin protects skin from the UV radiation by protecting the skin cells. Therefore the sunrays damage skin that has a tendency of getting burnt. Repeated severe burns is not a good thing for your skin. Excess sun exposure is the # one cause of premature aging and may cause skin cancers. Here is how the skin burns in the sun and what you can do to protect the skin.

Sunburn - Symptoms
Sunburn or in medical terms...photodermatitis, is your skin's allergic reaction to overexposure to the sun. It does not appear immediately after exposure. It may be some hours after which the skin becomes red and painful. Sun burnt area may also suffer from swelling. Some blisters may form and fever may be present. The effect of sunburn is worst after about 6 hours of exposure.

Sunburn- Causes
In people, the difference in skin color and the color of eyes largely depends upon the geographical area. Those who live near the equator have the darkest skin color and those staying near the poles have the lightest skin color. The division of skintypes based on how it will react to sun is known as the Fitzpatrick skin type, or phototype of the skin.

There are 6 skintypes- first three types of skin have more tendencies to burn than to tan. The first type will never tan but burn when exposed to sun. Similarly the last type - type six will never burn but always tan. Those who have skin types from one to three face the highest danger of sunburn. Sunburn may be as bad as a second-degree burn and severe extensive sunburn may also cause death.

Sunburn- Damage
Sunburn releases toxins in the skin and repeated sunburns accelerate the skin aging. Sunspots may form, wrinkles may appear sooner and aging is much faster. Along with aging, the probability of getting skin cancer also increases. It is therefore important that you protect yourself from sunburns.
Sunburn- Treatment And Prevention
If the sunburn is minor, you may get relief by taking painkillers, taking cold baths, applying cooling Aloe Vera lotions and using moisturizers. You should consult a doctor if blisters appear or if you get fever.
Sunburn or Sun Posoning? 
Symptoms of sun poisoning tend to include nausea, fever, headache, and dizziness and may also be accompanied by fluid loss and electrolyte imbalance. If the burn is more painful or you exhibit any of the systemic symptoms listed above, step up your efforts to cool down and hydrate. Drink plenty of fluids and take a bath in cool (not cold) water. Pat skin dry-don't rub-and stay in a cool environment until your symptoms ease. At any point, if you suffer from extreme pain or vomiting or if your fever grows too hot (over 104 degrees Fahrenheit), head to an emergency room. In more serious cases, a doctor can prescribe an oral steroid to reduce inflammation or administer IV fluids to restore hydration.

Another possible reason for the reaction is polymorphous light eruption (PLE), a UV-sensitive rash that results in blisters or hives. Although PLE causes similar symptoms to sun poisoning, PLE can occur without sunburn. This condition usually affects people who live in the northern hemisphere and is most common in spring or early summer. Skin sensitivity caused by PLE usually fades by itself within 10 days. In order to ease the symptoms, you can treat the blisters the same way you would treat a sunburn.

Treating these uncomfortable symptoms is just one step. It's easier to prevent any kind of sun-related reaction by taking care to cover up, wear liberal amounts of sunscreen, and avoid medications that have been shown to cause an increase in photosensitivity. Taking oral contraceptives, tetracycline antibiotics, certain anti-depressants and acne medications, and St. John's Wort can all increase the occurrence of photosensitivity. In addition, some pre-existing medical conditions such as lupus or vitiligo can increase the risk of sun sensitivity. If any of these risk factors apply to you, make sure you practice safe sun habits. Avoid tanning beds, stay in the shade between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., and use a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30.

This article is only for informative purposes. This article is not intended to be a medical advise and it is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult your doctor for your medical concerns. Please follow any tip given in this article only after consulting your doctor. The author is not liable for any outcome or damage resulting from information obtained from this article. Source:

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