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Let us consider a very good idea to maintain our health: There is an effective way you can preserve yourself from an increased danger of developing skin cancer.

The Problem

Through the work of nonprofit organizations, such as The Skin Cancer Foundation, the relation between sun exposure and elevated risks of developing skin cancer has become clearly established.

“About 25 years ago, few folks knew about the dangers of excessive, cumulative sun exposure,” says Perry Robins, M.D., president and founder of The Skin Cancer Foundation. “While the connection between sun exposure and skin cancer is widely known today, statistics show that the incidence of skin cancer is continuing to augment rapidly. More than 90 percent of skin cancers are caused by the sun. Nationally, there are more new instances of skin cancer each year than the combined incidence of breast, prostate, lung and colon cancer.”

Some Solutions

To facilitate combat this growing health risk, The Skin Cancer Foundation conducts extensive educational programs and regularly reviews products that can help consumers reduce their health risks from sun exposure. More than 300 products in the U.S. and more than 70 products overseas have been awarded the Foundation’s Seal of Recommendation.

The experience of sunburn can be a extremely efficient (i.e. painful) reminder to heed adequate protection on future occasions. However more importantly, it ought to be a reminder of the long-term consequences of sun exposure on our bodies and health – which can include aging of the skin and skin cancer.

To be able to more fully understand these consequences, let us take a look at exactly what sunburn is, its symptoms and its influence on the body.

Sunburn results when the amount of exposure to the sun, or other ultraviolet light source (e.g. tanning lamps and welding arcs etc.), exceeds the capacity of the body’s protective pigment, melanin, to preserve the skin. Melanin content varies greatly, but in general darker skinned people have more melanin than lighter skinned. (Although fairer skinned people are generally more prone to getting sunburn than darker skinned people, this undoubtedly does not exclude the latter from danger. )

Sunburn destroys cells in the outer layer of the skin, damaging tiny blood vessels under the surface layer. Burns which are deeper into the skin’s layers also damage elastic fibers in the skin, which over time and with repeated sun over-exposure, could lead to the appearance of yellowish, wrinkled and leathery skin.

The damage to skin cells related to excessive UV exposure (either sunlight or tanning lamps etc.) can also include damage to their DNA. It is this repeated DNA damage, which could possibly lead to a cell becoming cancerous. Due to the fact that the incidence of skin cancer is increasing dangerously all over the planet, and with its ability to develop and establish itself in the body long before external signs are seen or detected, paying attention to this aspect of sun exposure and sunburn ought not be ignored or taken lightly if we are sincere about maintaining our good health.

Now at the same time as it may be easier to ignore the effects of sunburn occurring at a cellular level, ignoring the external symptoms of sunburn in the days right now following such exposure is entirely another matter.

While sunburn is commonly not immediately obvious, skin discoloration (ranging from slightly pink to severely red or even purplish) will initially appear from 1 – 24 hours after exposure. though discomfort is usually worst 6 – 48 hours afterward, the burn can continue to develop for 24 – 72 hours after the incident. Where there is skin peeling, this generally occurs 3 – 8 days after the burn occurs.

While less serious sunburns usually cause nothing more than warm or hot skin, a little bit of redness, and tenderness to the exposed area, in more severe cases, extreme redness, swelling and blistering may occur. These blisters filled with fluid may itch and eventually break. This can then cause peeling of the skin, exposing an even more sensitive and vulnerable layer of skin under the surface.

Severe sunburn can lead to very red, blistered skin but could possibly also be accompanied by fever, chills, nausea (in some cases vomiting), and dehydration. In instances of extreme sunburn where the pain is debilitating, medical treatment might be needed.

While the immediate effects of sunburn can certainly be painful and cause pain and discomfort, the real deterrent to UV overexposure should be the potential damage to your long-term health – including the increased risk of premature aging of the skin as well as developing skin cancer.

Finding and taking advantage of shade between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. is one of The Skin Cancer Foundation’s most important sun protection recommendations.

Please do not allow sunburn and sun over-exposure ruin your chances of enjoying youthful skin and a healthy, attractive body. Keep in mind, the easiest way to heal sunburn will always be to avoid getting in the 1st place !

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