Sun is what we are meeting every day. Life of every living person depends on sun. During summer people like to use the benefit of warm weather and take a suntan lying down on a beach and enjoying the summer. Sunburn is the often effect of a suntan. Some people get sunburn because they are not careful with it; other people just have a type of skin that is predisposed to it. What should people remember about causes and effects of sunburn?
Let us talk about reasons that cause sunburn. First of all, it is an excessive exposure of a body to the sun (other source of ultraviolet light could also be count as sun, so we need to be careful with them as well). UVB and UVA have different wavelengths in light spectrum. UVB is more dangerous, nevertheless both of them causing photo-aging. It means that sunburn causing the premature aging of the wrinkles and skin.
When a person stays in sun for a long time, the body cannot produce enough of melanin – the pigment that is protecting skin. Thus sun hurt unprotected body with ultraviolet. What we can count as “a long time” in such case? It could be even 15 minutes for light-skinned people while dark-skinned people can safely stay in sun for hours. A person commonly starts feeling the symptoms of sunburn after two to four hours after skin has been already damaged. Swelling, redness and pain start showing within 24 hours. A first degree of sunburn is pink or red skin color while prolonged sun exposure causing second-degree burn and blistering. Nevertheless, a third-degree burn can never be cause because of sun.
What effects of sunburn do we know? They are serious enough. Malignant melanoma is among them. It is a type of skin cancer that begins from a mole. It is the deadliest type of skin cancer. So, suntan is not as non-harmful pleasure as somebody can think. Other long lasting sunburn effects are following: different changes in skin, actinic keratoses, over pressing of the immune system, affection of white blood cells that caused their enables to fight viruses.
Concluding the information above we can state that sunburn is harmful for our skin; but we need to remember that limited exposure to sun produces useful vitamin D in the skin and be wise next time when we lying down in the sunny beach.
Auerbach, P.S. (2001). Wilderness Medicine. 4th ed. St. Louis, Mo: Mosby.