We’ve all been outside a liiiiittle too long without applying or re-applying sunscreen and have had to deal with the dreaded scourge of summer: SUNBURN!
But what exactly causes that red skin/blisters/peeling/itchy/painful ordeal?
Well, the sun produces UV radiation and too much exposure can cause a form of radiation burn. That’s basically what a sunburn is: Radiation burn. If it feels like you’ve just been cooked in a microwave oven, it’s because that analogy isn’t THAT far off. UV rays start to “roast” the skin cells’ DNA, killing those cells. If the damage is not properly repaired when new skin cells are created, it can cause sun spots. It can also cause a tumor to form in the skin. The tumor might be benign, but it might also be a cancerous melanoma! Skin cancer is a very real threat. Cancer can spread to other parts of the body and end up being fatal.
To avoid sunburn, you should limit your exposure to the sun. I know, I know – that’s easier said than done. Who wants to be inside all day? You’re going to be outdoors and you can’t avoid sun completely! That’s where sunscreen comes in. Sunscreen applied to exposed skin also helps reduce your risk of burning. The higher the SPF, the more protection you have. They make sunscreens that you can wear in water as well, but be sure to re-apply a few times through out the day to keep yourself safe. Clothes help, too! Wearing hats and clothing that covers your skin can help reduce your exposure.
If you do happen to burn, there’s no “cure” but there are things you can do to help alleviate the painful symptoms until the burn heals. Use cool, wet towels on the area or take cool showers to help bring your body temperature down. Apply lotions that contain aloe vera to sunburned areas to soothe the skin. Topical steroids (such as 1% hydrocortisone cream) may also help with pain and swelling. Note: Do not use the cream on children younger than age 2 unless your doctor directs you to. Oatmeal and chamomile are sometimes recommended to help with the itching and peeling of sunburns.
But what about tanning? Tanning beds also produce UV rays, so they should also be avoided in order to reduce your risks of skin damage. But you still want that color! What are you supposed to do?! Well, that’s where airbrush tanning comes in. You can get the color without the sun! It’s not a stain, you won’t turn orange – it’s an FDA-approved natural, organic compound that produces color in the top layer of your skin but doesn’t damage the deeper layers the way UV rays from the sun or tanning beds can! The solutions we use at Shine are vegan and never tested on animals. It’s a safe, affordable way to get the tan you want this summer without risking the dreaded BURN! Give us a call today!