Shaded Nation – Shade Sails
Researchers may have discovered what it is that makes sunburn painful and a potential way of soothing the discomfort.
Scientists at the Duke University School of Medicine have been experimenting with the condition and found that by blocking a certain molecule they can reduce the pain suffered by getting burned.
The molecule is called TRPV4 and is common in skin cells. In an experiment with mice, the researchers found removing this molecule meant the animals suffered less pain after being exposed to the sun’s rays.
Wolfgang Liedtke, one of the senior authors of the study, commented: “We have uncovered a novel explanation for why sunburn hurts.
“If we understand sunburn better, we can understand pain better because what plagues my patients day in and day out is what temporarily affects otherwise healthy people who suffer from sunburn.”
Martin Steinhoff, who also worked on the project, said its findings could provide scientists with a target to work towards when trying to develop new anti-sunburn products.
He suggested TRPV4 blockers could be included in new kinds of skin cream or used to treat people who are suffering from a severe burn.
“I could imagine it being mixed with traditional sunblock to provide stronger protections against UVB exposure,” Mr Steinhoff stated.
However, the scientists warned more work needs to be done before this is possible.
While the findings of the researches are certainly interesting, it could be a long time before any of the products they discuss become available and even if they do, the best way to stay safe in the sun is to avoid getting burnt in the first place.
Sunburn is scientifically proven to increase the chances of contracting skin cancer, which is a potentially fatal disease. It can also cause less serious problems like premature ageing of the skin and wrinkling.
An ideal way to stay protected is by installing a Shaded Nation shade sail, click here if you’d like to learn more.