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Health Watch: Sun safety

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Published: Jul. 2, 2020 at 6:18 PM MDT
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With the temperature warming up and the sun shining now is the perfect time to discuss what a sunburn is. A sunburn happens when the skin gets burnt from invisible light called UV light. UV light comes from the sun and can cause a sunburn if a person has been in the sun for too long. People can also get a sunburn on a cloudy day because the UV light can go through the clouds. Another common way to get a sunburn is from a tanning bed. It is important to avoid getting a sunburn because getting a sunburn often have higher chances of developing skin cancer, wrinkles, and eye problems such as cataracts that can lead to difficulty seeing. The chances of getting a sunburn increases if you have pale skin, light-colored hair, spend a lot of time outdoors, higher elevations, or around snow or winter environments which can reflect the sun. Some medications lead to an increase in the risk of burns as well. Symptoms of sunburn usually happen three to five hours after being in the sun. These include redness, pain and the skin feeling hot to touch. Severe sunburns can cause blisters, severe pain, swelling, and fever.

The redness is usually worse in the first 12-24 hours and fades over the course of three days. You can treat sunburn at home by taking pain relief medication, applying cold compresses, or using aloe You can also treat your sunburn by staying inside until the redness and pain go away. You should see your physician if your sunburn is severe. Sunburns can be prevented by staying out of the sun in the middle of the day from 10 am-4 pm when sunlight is usually the strongest. Staying under an umbrella, tree, or shady spot may also help in addition to wearing sunscreen that is usually 30 SPF that protects against both UVA and UVB rays. You should reapply every 2-3 hours, wear a hat, lip balm, sunglasses, pants or a long sleeve shirt. I'm Dr. Taylor Kapsch with Creekside Medical Clinic with today's Healthwatch.

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