Everybody may know about sunburn — a pain in the skin. There are more matters about sunburn than meets the eye. In fact, a flesh sunburn is caused by harmful ultraviolet radiation of the sun. Redness and pain are typical symptoms of sunburn. How to define the severity of sunburn? It’s depends on duration time and intensity of UV rays. Such a condition only occurs when a person is exposed to intense UV rays, which exceed the protective capacity of melanin in the skin. Except for albinism, melanin is a natural protectant against ultraviolet radiation. Albinism is a symptom that there is little or no melanin in one’s body. Melanin is a kind of pigment produced from cells and determines colours of hair, eyes, the skin, etc.
As a result of UV radiation, the protective mechanism of human being’s body is to tan the skin. Only a certain amount of melanin is produced in one’s body. Such a substance could not be supplemented like a vitamin or a mineral material. To a certain extent, the darker the skin, the more melanin it contains. So, more or less, skin color is a signal of the amount in one’s body. The following chart is a spectrum of skin types, and also an object of reference.
In general, natural protection mechanism of human body is able to defence up to 4 SPF. In spite of the effective natural protection mechanism, it is not enough for outdoor enthusiasts to keep them away from intense UV rays. A wide brim bucket hat helps a lot in shading one’s ears and the neck. But what should I do to protect other areas beyond shade provided by a hat.
It’s too late for one to cover up the skin when it is turning pink. It is probable that sunburn has already taken place. Crafty sunburn takes place even after one cover the skin up or apply sunscreen. After 6 to 48 hours of sunburn, the pain is at its worse. Then, some dead skin cells flake off; then a peeling process starts.
It seems safe after sunburn disappeared and the skin get tanned. Potential damaging effects have been buried at the cellular level. DNA damage could be triggered by UV radiation; such a damage could be passed onto cell progeny. At the same time, UV radiation damage cumulates with time. Perhaps skin damages could evolve to skin cancer.
Three common skin cancer include basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. On the other hand, some effective measures could be taken to prevent sunburn and skin cancer. Research shows that most skin cancers and symptoms are related to the sun. Actually, everyone needs to be proactive when confronted with sun protection problems.
What should you do if you are the “unlucky” recipient of sunburn? In general, one should contact a paediatrician at once if your baby aged under 1 year has sunburn, and observe your baby to see whether there is blistering pain or fever. It’s an emergency for a baby.