Causes of Sunburn

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Woman sunbathing

We all know the basics about how a sunburn happens: we stayed out in the sun longer than we should have. However, that’s not all there is to it, and melanin also plays a part. For example, your body is basically speeding up the melanin production while it’s getting damaged in an effort to try and protect itself; stay out in the sun long enough and you’ll likely eventually notice a burn. In addition to staying out in the sun too long, there are several reasons, such as the ones below, that you might notice a sunburn occurring any time throughout the year.

Not Wearing Sunscreen
Wearing sunscreen is one of the best ways to help protect your skin from sunburn, but there are many who skip applying it to certain parts of their body (i.e. tips of the ears, tops of the feet, etc), infrequently apply it, or just don’t do it at all. It’s those habits that could result in quite a bad sunburn.

Forgoing Sun Protection Throughout the Year
If you’re one of the many who only apply sunscreen during the spring and summer or just when you go to the beach, you’re not alone. However, you may be surprised to hear that you can get sunburned even during the winter when there’s snow on the ground. UV rays are around all year long, and even on cloudy days, about 80-percent of the rays are still making their way through.

Woman applying sunscreen

Not Reapplying Sunscreen During the Day
When you apply sunscreen in the morning, it’s not going to last all day especially if you were sweating or you went swimming. You may think you’re still adequately protected from the sun hours into a beach day, but don’t be surprised if you notice a sunburn at some point. It’s important to reapply it every two hours and after you’ve been swimming or sweating.

Not Reading the Packaging of Medicines
Some medicines could raise your sun sensitivity level which means you may end up with a sunburn amongst dealing with other negative side effects. Before spending time outdoors, speak to your doctor and make sure you read your prescription bottles to check for any warnings.

Woman with hat

Not Covering Up
It can be tempting to go outside in the summer and avoid covering up as much as possible, but anything extra you put on could help protect you from sunburn. For example, wearing sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat as well as sun protective clothing could prove beneficial.

Just “Running Out Really Quick”
We’re all guilty of it. We say we’re just running out really quick so we don’t need to apply sunscreen, wear a hat or sunglasses, etc, but that quick trip could result in a sunburn especially if we’re out longer than we anticipate. Even if you think you’re only running out quickly, take an extra minute or two to protect yourself from the sun’s rays before you head out.

Getting one or two sunburns might not seem like a big deal, but they can add up to some big problems in the short and long term. The more you protect yourself, especially the more you learn about how you can protect your specific skin, the better off you can be for preventing sunburns.

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