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​​Don’t get burned

​​​​​​​​​​UV radiation exposure from the sun during childhood and adolescence does play a role in future development of melanoma and basal cell skin cancer. 

A history of one or more sunburns is connected to increasing risk for both. With more than one-half of your lifetime UV exposure occurring during youth, using sun protection during this time can reduce the risk of melanoma later as an adult.

Sunburn is red or blistered skin from sun overexposure. Pain and swelling starts about four hours after the burn, peaks at 24 hours and improves after 48 hours. Most sunburn is a first-degree burn that turns the skin pink or red. Prolonged sun exposure can cause blistering and a second-degree burn.

Prompt medical attention is recommended if you:

  • Look or feel very sick
  • Have a fever above 104° F
  • Are unable to look at lights because of eye pain
  • Have extremely painful sunburn
  • Have an affected area that looks infected

Or, within 24 hours if:

  • Large blisters develop (over ½ inch)
  • Many small blisters develop
  • Swollen feet interfere with walking
  • Blisters appear on the face

Got a Mohawk for the start of the football season? Don’t forget the sunscreen. Sensitive scalp skin is normally not exposed to the sun and can easily sunburn.

Prevent sunburn:

  • Use a sunscreen with SPF of 15 or higher. If fair-skinned, use a sunscreen with SPF of 30.
  • Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before exposure to the sun to give it time to penetrate the skin. 
  • Apply more to areas most likely to become sunburned, such as the nose, ears, cheeks and shoulders. 
  • Reapply sunscreen every three to four hours, as well as after swimming or profuse sweating. 
  • Apply a lip coating that contains sunscreen. 
  • Where repeated burns occur, such as the nose, protect completely from all the sun’s rays with zinc oxide or titanium oxide ointment.

Even when it’s overcast, 70 percent of the sun’s rays get through the clouds.

Protect yourself. Don’t get burned.

Share comments or questions on this information. E-mail sports.medicine@marshfieldclinic.org.

 

 Health Library

 

 

Sun Safetyhttp://marshfield.staywellsolutionsonline.com/Library/DiseasesConditions/Adult/85,P00864Sun Safety
Treating Sun-Damaged Skinhttp://marshfield.staywellsolutionsonline.com/Library/DiseasesConditions/Adult/85,P01356Treating Sun-Damaged Skin
Treating Aged or Sun-Damaged Skinhttp://marshfield.staywellsolutionsonline.com/Library/DiseasesConditions/Adult/85,P00323Treating Aged or Sun-Damaged Skin
Sunburn and Childrenhttp://marshfield.staywellsolutionsonline.com/Library/DiseasesConditions/Pediatric/90,P01929Sunburn and Children
The Genetics of Skin Cancerhttp://marshfield.staywellsolutionsonline.com/Library/DiseasesConditions/Adult/85,p07216The Genetics of Skin Cancer
U Glossaryhttp://marshfield.staywellsolutionsonline.com/Library/DiseasesConditions/Adult/85,P00539U Glossary


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