Shaded Nation – Shade Sails
Here in the UK most people suffer from sunburn at some point in their life.
However, while many of us have experienced the condition, a surprising number of Brits still know very little about what it is, why it happens and the risk associated with it. This is worrying, as it means people may be putting their health in the balance by not releasing the dangers of overexposure to the sun.
Here are the key things you need to know about sunburn.
What is it?
The light created by the sun contains ultraviolet (UV) rays. A small amount of exposure to these rays is good for the body as it is a source of vitamin D. However, should too much UV light come into contact with your skin it will burn.
People can tolerate different levels of exposure depending on their skin type, with individuals who have dark skin, eyes and hair normally less likely to burn.
What are the symptoms?
The most common effect of sunburn is red skin that is sore and painful to the touch. However, there are a number of other symptoms you might not be aware of. If your skin starts to flake or peel a few days after being out of the sun this is a sign you were burned, while severe cases can lead to blistering, swelling and fever.
What are the risks?
Sunburn has no advantages and overexposure to UV rays poses numerous risks. Spending too much time in the sun can cause skin to wrinkle and age prematurely and even create solar keratoses, which are rough and scaly patches that appear on the skin.
It can also damage the eyes through a condition know as photokeratitis, which can be prevented by wearing sunglasses. However, by far the greatest risk associated with sunburn is skin cancer.
It is scientifically proven that getting burnt increases your chances of contracting this potentially fatal condition and the NHS believes this is responsible for the majority of the 70,000 cases recorded in the UK each year.