Summer Story: Sunburn & Skin Cancer Prevention/Safety

Summer Story: Sunburn & Skin Cancer Prevention/Safety

LANSING - The summer season calls for plenty of enjoyment, but also high temperatures and lots of sun. If people aren’t protecting themselves properly, they become at risk of sunburn. Sunburn is when the skin gets too much UV exposure from the sun or tanning bed that makes the skin red and painful. Sunburn also causes skin cancer and premature aging of the skin.

“Sunburns can be mild, redness, swelling, pain that ends up peeling to severe with blisters, headaches, fatigue and can lead to hospitalization,” said Dermatology Certified Nurse Practitioner Christina Inman from Pinnacle Dermatology. “You can get a sunburn year round and even on cloudy days. Your eyes can burn too.”

The risks of sunburn are:

-Living or working in sunny/warm/high altitude climates
-Tanning indoor or outdoor
-History of sunburns
-Fair skin/hair/eyes
-Several medications make people burn easily as well

“Excessive sun exposure or sunburn can lead to skin cancer due to DNA damage which can be life threatening,” said Inman.

If you do get sunburnt, there are treatment options to relieve pain, discomfort and some of the other symptoms that accompany it. “Treatment is focused on symptoms because you can’t get rid of the burn,” said Inman. “Cool the skin, moisturize often, stay hydrated, do not pick at the skin or pop the blisters, take an over the counter pain reliever and avoid the sun.”

In order to prevent getting a sunburn, it’s advised to always wear sunscreen and sunglasses, cover up, don’t tan, avoid the sun and avoid the peak hours from 10am - 4pm, said Inman. The preventative measures are the same for skin cancer.

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