It’s actually very easy to learn how to prevent a sunburn. Really it just takes a little common sense and understanding.
If you’re a Caucasian and without a tan or maybe you just have pale skin your cells are not protected from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. If this describes you and you spend extended amounts of time in the sun unprotected you have just made yourself a number one candidate for getting sunburn. Anybody that has been sunburn knows that it can be very painful and in extreme cases require a visit to the doctor but what exactly is a sunburn?
A sunburn is when your skin cells are damaged by UV radiation put off by the sun. Your body responds to this damage by increasing the blood flow in the capillary bed of the dermis to bring in cells to repair the damage. The redness associated with a sunburn is due to this increased blood flow in your capillaries. When you have a sunburn this is why your skin turns white when pressed as blood is pushed out of the capillaries and back to red when released because blood is able to refill them.
The best ways to prevent a sunburn are:
1. Stay out of the sun for extended periods of time especially between 10am and 3 pm when the suns UV rays are at there strongest.
2. Wear protective clothing including hat, shirt, and pants.
3. When out in the Sun always wear protective sunscreen to limit the penetration of the suns UV rays. Sunscreens come with a SPF (Sun Protection Factor) rating which is given by the Federal Drug Administration to over the counter sunscreens. Sunscreens come in a variety of ratings such as 15, 30 and 50. The SPF ratings determine how long the sunscreen is effective on the skin. To determine the level of effectives, simply multiply the SPF rating by the number of minutes it takes you to burn without the use of sunscreen. For example if you were to apply sunscreen with a SPF rating of 30 and it normally takes you 10 minutes to burn without the use of sunscreen you would be protected for 300 minutes (30 x 10).
Now get out there and enjoy the summer but don’t forget to protect your skin from the sun.
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