SUNBURN AND UNWANTED SOUVENIRS
The summer scourge of staying too long under the sun.
by Korina Tanyu, M.D.
A sunburn doesn’t just happen by the beach or at the poolside. By exposing yourself to sources of ultraviolet (UV) rays such as the sun, tanning beds, phototherapy lamps and arc lamps, you are at risk. A walk in the park can become a walk into sunburn hell if you have not adequately armed yourself with protection.
Pain in the first degree
Sunburns are considered first-degree burns, according to Kathleen Nicole Tan, M.D., of Bethany Hospital in Tacloban City. Sunburns usually do not have any long-term effects unless getting them has become a habit. She also mentions that different skin types have different degrees of burning, depending on the skin color: People with fair complexions burn fast but do not develop much tanning. On the other hand, those with darker skin take a longer time to burn but get more tanned.
Sunburns usually start out as redness over the exposed skin three to four hours after exposure. The redness peaks at 12 to 24 hours after exposure. It can be painful and may eventually blister. Skin scaling and peeling occur four to seven days later. Sunburn may also occur under clothed skin, as ultraviolet radiation can be transmitted through wet clothing.
Aside from the acute effects of sunburn, it may also lead to more serious consequences. Sun exposure causes damage to the skin cells and the DNA of the skin. You do not actually have to suffer a burn to destroy the skin cells. When this occurs, some cells either repair themselves or die. Damaged skin cells may lead to premature aging, the suppression of the immune system, and skin cancers.