Sunburn Prevention is Mostly a Matter of Common Sense
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Sunburn Prevention

Enjoy Your Summer More

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A little planning for sunburn prevention is important if you enjoy being outside in the summer to enjoy the sun and want to avoid those painful sunburns. Then you won't have to stay out of the sun and you can enjoy it more and longer. And you'll also know that you are reducing your risk of serious diseases like malignant melanoma later in life.

Ideas for Sunburn Prevention

pigs in sun

B Vitamins are important. Deficiencies have been related to increased susceptibility to burns. The term "red-neck" actually originated because of this.

Clothing to shield the skin from exposure is the preferred method. I have worked outside with a long-sleeved white shirt and broad-brimmed straw hat and had no problem. You can add a white handkerchief tucked under the hat to protect the back of the neck.

Gradual sun exposure done without burning can be protective as it naturally increases the amount of melanin, the pigment that is the skin's natural defense against sunburn. The skin also thickens. The melanin, being darker than untanned skin, absorbs UV photons producing harmless heat rather than DNA-damaging free radicals.

Antioxidant protection if it is lacking in your diet can make you more susceptible to sunburn. Protect yourself with a good intake of antioxidants. Include lots of berries and greens and perhaps a good antioxidant supplement. You can, in fact, build up a degree of natural resistance to UV radiation damage.

Coconut Oil of a high quality has good antioxidant properties that can protect from free radical damage when applied topically. For many people in tropical places like the Philippines it is reason they have good skin and little problem with year-round sun exposure.

Oil consumption in the diet is also important. If one consumes lots of polyunsaturated oils including trans fatty acids there will be oxidized lipids deposited in the skin tissue causing free radical damage and increasing susceptibility to further damage with sun exposure.

Sunscreens are a very common means of sunburn prevention but their use is being questioned more and more. A good rule of thumb in health is that you should not put anything on your skin that you would not feel comfortable putting in your mouth. If a product is absorbed into your skin then it is absorbed into your body and could be worse than if ingested by mouth where at least the digestive system might break it down.

Sunscreen cautions are important to note. Sunscreens only block some wavelengths of UV radiation; mostly UVB but often little of the UVA radiation which penetrates deeper into the skin. They can produce a sense of security during sun exposure while allowing excessive exposure to unblocked UVA radiation. This idea that "I've slathered it on, so I'm OK" can cause a person to not take other measures such as covering up or getting out of the sun before there is damage.

Standard sunscreens block much of the UV-B radiation that would normally stimulate the skin to produce its own pigment to provide protection. The skin is also dependent on receiving UV-B radiation to produce Vitamin D which is important for prevention of all cancers.

The best form of sunburn treatment is to avoid burning in the first place but if you do happen to burn there are good methods for sunburn treatment. Remember that, while you do not want to burn, there are a great many benefits of exposure to sunshine.

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