10 Sunburn causes and treatments
Sunburns a right of passage in the summer months.

What is a Sunburn ?

Growing up, I and most people on earth got sunburns almost weekly. Playing sports outside with no blocker on was what we kids did back when I was young. I decided to do some research on Sunburns and see how much damage I did to myself, these are my findings and what you need to know about sunburns.

It’s also important to know that some of the chemicals used in sun screen protection enters into the bloodstreams of the people that the product comes in contact with. A new study shows that 4 different chemicals in sun screen protection products enters a person blood stream for close to two days before passing through a persons body. For more information concerning sun screen and your blood -hit the link…https://cnn.it/2GYscik

Sunburns can be referred to as a form of radiation burn which affects living tissues, like skin, which results from excessive exposure to ultraviolet radiation, mostly from the sun. Sunburn is also an inflammatory response within the skin stimulated by direct DNA damage by ultraviolet radiation. Whenever the skin cells’ DNA is excessively damaged by UV radiation, type 1 cells-death is stimulated, and the skin is then replaced.

A surplus of ultraviolet radiation can tend to be life-threatening in more extreme cases. Excessive ultraviolet radiation is the main cause of predominantly non-malignant skin tumors. Sun protective measures consisting of sun protective clothing and sunscreen are generally accepted to tackle and prevent sunburn and some kinds of skin cancer. 

Causes of Sunburns

Skin layers and melanin

Sunburns are widely caused by exposure to UV light. Ultraviolet radiation is typically a wavelength of sunlight in a range which is too short for the eyes to see. UVA (Ultraviolet A) is the kind of solar radiation which is mostly associated with skin becoming old. UVB (Ultraviolet B) is associated with sunburn. Excessive exposure to both kinds of radiation can be associated with cancer development. Tanning and sunlamps beds also produce ultraviolet light that can cause sunburns.

Melanin is typically the dark color in the outer layer of the human skin (also known as epidermis) which gives the skin its standard color. Whenever you get exposed to ultraviolet light, your body keeps itself protected by stimulating melanin production. The additional melanin produces the darker pigment of a tan. 

A suntan is how the body blocks the ultraviolet rays to prevent sunburn and any other skin damage. However, the total amount of melanin the body generates is genetically determined. Most individuals do not produce sufficient melanin for protecting the skin properly. Eventually, ultraviolet light causes the skin to burn, thus generating pain, swelling, and redness.

You could get sunburn on cloudy or hazy days. Virtually 85% of ultraviolet rays always pass through the clouds. Sand, water, snow, and other surfaces can also replicate ultraviolet rays, thus burning the skin as severely as direct exposure to sunlight.

Symptoms of Sunburns

The symptoms or signs of sunburn vary from one person to another. You might not see or notice skin redness for several hours after the sunburn has started. Peak redness often takes 12-24 hours. Less severe sunburns usually cause nothing more than minor tenderness and redness to the affected skin areas. In more severe cases, blistering may occur. Serious sunburns could be painful to the point of debilitation and might need a hospital and clinic care.

In much more severe circumstances, symptoms may include:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Weakness

In extreme cases, shock symptoms can occur:

  • Low blood pressure
  • Fainting
  • Severe weakness

Sunburn could happen in less than 13 minutes; however, the harm is usually not visible immediately.  

Sun burn Radiation isa big cause of cancer
Beware of the sun at peak radiation times of the day

After exposure, the skin might become red in as little as 25 minutes; however, most usually takes 2-4 hours. Pain is typically most severe 6-47 hours after exposure. The burn keeps on developing for 24-72 hours, most times followed by skin peeling in 3-6 days.

Most itching and peeling might continue for many weeks.

Treatments for Sunburns

It is essential to begin treatment for sunburns as early as possible. Sunburn could lead to permanent skin damages and also increase vulnerability to skin cancer. The following are certain simple methods to reduce the discomfort associated with sunburn; but, it is essential to bear in mind that the most suitable way to minimize the suffering is to prevent being sunburned in the first instance. 

  • Ibuprofen – Certain over-the-counter pain reliefs like ibuprofen or any other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications can assist in relieving the pain and decrease swelling. It is advisable to take these early. Most pain relief could be applied and used as a topical ointment. 
  • Hydrocortisone cream – may also assist in reducing itching and inflammation. 
  • Rehydrate – drink enough water to assist in rehydrating the skin.
  • Do not break small or tiny blisters – always allow them to run their full course. In case one gets broken, clean it up with water and mild soap.
  • Peeling skin – don’t pick and keep applying moisturizer.  
  • Cool your skin – apply a damp towel or cloth, or take a nice, cold bath.
  • Don’t use butter – this is an untrue solution which could prevent healing and end up damaging the skin.
  • Apply moisturizer – for example, Aloe vera gel.
  • Stay out of the sun – In order not to make the sunburn worse, it is important you avoid exposing yourself to ultraviolet. 

In case the sunburn is too extreme, oral steroid therapy might be prescribed for some days. But, steroid creams applied on the skin show slight to no benefits.

It is essential to begin treatment for sunburns as early as possible.
The Beach- a place where a lot of sun damage is done.

In case blistering occurs, steroids might be withheld to avoid a more advanced risk of infection. In case the patient has heat stress or is dehydrated, intravenous (IV) fluids can be given

Home Remedies for Treating Sunburns

Below are some natural ways for treating sunburns from the comfort of your home

Aloe Vera

This is possibly one of the most renowned ways for calming sunburn. Aloe vera gel can do much more than just provide your skin with a cooling relief. With reference to board-certified dermatologists, aloe vera’s anti-inflammatory properties help in providing sunburned skin with a calming sensation once applied. 

White Vinegar

What is worse than having sunburns? An infected sunburn. To assist in relieving some of the inflammation and pain from the burn, and also to stop it from getting infected, it is recommended you apply white vinegar to the affected skin areas. Since white vinegar is made up of acetic acid, it could assist in relieving the inflammation and pain, and can also play the role of an antiseptic.

Baking Soda

Another essential thing to bear in mind when tackling sunburns at home is the natural pH level of your skin. To assist in balancing the pH of a burned skin, it is recommended you make a cold compress made up of water and baking soda and apply it to the sunburned skin for about 15-20 minutes, 

Green Tea

In as much as baking soda compresses works in soothing sunburns, it is also advisable you try green tea compresses, as they are known to consist of polyphenols, which are also anti-inflammatory. To do that, steep some green tea leaves and then soak a washcloth in the green tea. Allow it to cool in the refrigerator before applying it on sunburned skin for 20 minutes.  

Bottom Line

With the detailed information provided above regarding sunburn, as well as its causes, symptoms, treatments and home remedies, it is beyond doubt that you now know how to avoid and cure sunburns on your skin even from the comfort of your home. However, you can opt for an advance treatment option if it matches your budget. It is advisable to treat sunburn as soon as possible to prevent it from becoming severe.

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